Monday, July 20, 2015

Radio Astronomy in the News

Have you heard about the new Breakthrough Listen project?  Funded by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner and supported by Stephen Hawking, Fran Drake (of the famed Drake Equation for calculating the potential number of extraterrestrial civilizations) and many others, the project hopes to use powerful radio telescopes from across the world, famed researchers, and everyday people to search for alien intelligence.

As a recently inducted member of the radio astronomy community I am still learning all the great things this funding can do for SETI.  As my new job involves working with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia that will be funded for much of this work I may be biased, but I honestly think this is a fantastic shot-in-the-arm for the SETI program, and understanding our place in the Universe.  It's also a great testament to the science communicators out there who have kept these dreams alive in the public.

This is still a breaking story with much more news to report as time goes on.  But in the meantime take a look at some current thinking on the subject:

  • Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stephen-hawking-and-yuri-milner-announce-100m-initiative-to-seek-extraterrestrial-intelligence/
  • Wired - UK: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-07/20/breakthrough-listen-project
  • Space.com: http://www.space.com/29990-stephen-hawking-intelligent-alien-life-initiative.html



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