Astronomers scanned 12 Planets for Alien Signals

(ORDO NEWS) — The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) is the world’s first single-dish radio telescope. GBT has unparalleled sensitivity ranging from millimeter to meter.

Since 2017, it has also become one of the main tools used by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institutes (SETI).

Recently, an international team of researchers scanned twelve exoplanets for signs of technological activity. Their observations were timed to the time when the planets were transiting.

Although the study did not reveal any evidence of technosignals, they identified two radio signals of interest that require follow-up.

This new method could greatly expand the scope of SETI and create new opportunities for future research.

“The classic SETI problem is the ‘needle in a haystack’ problem – even if someone is trying their best to get our attention, the space is big and the message can take so many forms.

Therefore, it would be better if we try to identify specific places, times or frequencies that may be more likely places for messages than any random point,” the researchers say.

They used the concept of Schelling points, whereby two or more people come to the same decision by default and in the absence of communication.

The researchers believe that places like the galactic center are the most likely to find civilizations, or frequencies like 1420 MHz.

For their study, the scientists turned to data on 12 exoplanets identified by the Kepler space telescope.

These planets were discovered using transit photometry, where periodic dips in the star’s luminosity are used to confirm the presence of exoplanets.

The GBT collected data on these exoplanets as they transited on March 25, 2018.

The goal was to find out if radio transmissions matched these transits, which is a sure sign that an advanced civilization is trying to communicate.

“We timed our observations so that the exoplanet of interest was aligned with its parent star and the solar system.

This is the time that we know (by observing the dip in brightness as the planet passes in front of its star), and this is the time that any potential life on an exoplanet would also know,” the researchers said.

Sending a persistent message is extremely energy intensive, and this method allows you to narrow it down to a certain window.

This greatly reduces the cost of sending messages into space, while greatly increasing the chances of detecting messages.

The researchers were the first to apply this method in the search for radio signals.

While they did not find any technosignals, their groundbreaking research established a procedure that will make it much easier to conduct similar surveys in the future.

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