Humanity does not cease to look for signs of alien life. And the joint effort of Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking proves just how avid we are to know we are not the only manifestation of life in this universe.
The Breakthrough Listen Initiative, sparked by Yuri’s Milner vivid interest in what lies beyond the limits of our own small world is a 100 million dollars effort that included the Parkes Telescope and Green Bank Telescope in a mission spanning an initial timeframe of 10 years.
As of yet, this is the greatest, most comprehensive framework that takes a swing at finding alien life and intelligence. Breakthrough Listen initiative was launched in London, UK, amidst enthusiastic attendees.
Enthusiasts might recall the Parkes Telescope, the 64-meter dish located in the Parkes Observatory in Australia from the movie “The Dish”, released in 2000 and a great hit at the time. Well, as it is the Parkes Telescope will be pointed at both the stars in our own Milky Way as well as those in the nearest 100 neighboring galaxies.
Both Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner are hopeful that at some turning point in the mission, the telescopes will register one bump in the signal. And that would be sufficient to start a saga of new telltale alien life.
“The scope of our search will be unprecedented – a million nearby stars, the galactic centre, the entire plane of the Milky Way and 100 nearby galaxies”,
stated Yuri Milner.
Parkes Telescope, as it is located right underneath the center of our homey Milky Way will scrutinize the dense center of the galaxy for two months yearly. As one of the researchers involved stated, the center of the Milky Way would be downtown of a thriving alien civilization.
Of course, the massive amount of frequencies of both telescopes would mean nothing without the power to supervise them and register the faintest touch. The [email protected] project of the University of California at Berkeley is putting its massive computing platform at the feet of the Breakthrough Listen initiative.
Nine million volunteers are pooling together their spare computing power to feed a worldwide network that is the without question the largest supercomputer in the world. As in fairy tales, the project will grow in one day as others in one year with vue to data collecting and computing capabilities.
The best part about the Breakthrough Listen initiative is that we will all be part of the day to day listening and waiting for signs of alien life as the project is envisioned to be open source, allowing million to connect to the latest results of Breakthrough Listen.
Millions of terabytes will thus become available to all of us. At the launching of Breakthrough Listen, Stephen Hawking stated:
“Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching these lights of ours, aware of what they mean. Or do our lights wander a lifeless cosmos – unseen beacons, announcing that here, on one rock, the Universe discovered its existence? It’s time to commit to finding the answer…we must know”.
Yuri Milner, renowned investor in Silicon Valley companies, with a background in physics, was named after Yuri Gagarin, he said, his mother wishing that he grows to be an inspired man.
It seems he accomplished to keep true to this legacy. With numerous investments in technological advancement and a well-known interest in space, this most recent investment of 100 million dollars in the Breakthrough Listen project renders the initiative the single largest and most exciting search for alien life.
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