(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers have been searching for intelligent civilizations in the night sky using radio waves since the advent of radio, that is, since the beginning of the 20th century. In a new study, another attempt was made to detect signs of the existence of intelligent civilizations in the direction of the center of the Milky Way at radio frequency.
In this study, a team led by Chenoa Tremblay of the Australian National Association of Scientific and Applied Research, using an array of dish radio antennas called the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), searched for radio signals containing technosignatures in the direction of the center of the Milky Way. Searches were made at a frequency of 150 megahertz.
In total, the observations made by Tremblay’s team took seven hours over two nights. The search was made in the direction of the supermassive black hole of the Milky Way, called Sagittarius A*, which lies at the core of our galaxy. The search for technosignatures was carried out for 144 exoplanetary systems.
The search for life usually aims to find biosignatures. Biosignatures are molecules or isotopes that indicate the presence of life. However, in the present study, we searched for technosignatures that are somewhat different from biosignatures by definition.
From the most general point of view, technosignatures are signs or effects that can only appear as a result of the use of technology by a civilization.
Technological mega-projects such as Dyson spheres can leak radio emissions. More prosaic signs of the presence of a technogenic civilization, such as elevated levels of chlorofluorocarbons, are found with great difficulty, but they are also good technosignatures.
Some researchers do not consider radio waves to be good technosignatures because they can be generated naturally. However, from the point of view of the convenience of conducting large-scale searches for traces of technogenic civilizations in vast areas of the sky, radio waves are the most practical search tools.
As a result of the search, Tremblay’s team failed to find technosignatures in the direction of the center of the Milky Way. However, the researchers note that each such new study allows to take into account the shortcomings of the method used and adjust it for future use.
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