The search for Extra Terrestrial life just got a big boost in a new effort known as Breakthrough Initiatives. Stephen Hawking just joined with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner to help fund the search for alien life to the tune of $100 million. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been in operation since the 1980s. SETI is working with the new Breakthrough Initiatives aiding in the search for alien life.
Breakthrough Initiatives search for alien life video:
What is “Breakthrough Initiatives?”
What you may be asking is what exactly is Breakthrough Initiatives, and how is this different/the same as the work SETI is already doing? Breakthrough Initiatives is a combination of projects aimed at listening for signs of alien life and transmitting a message out to the universe. Both of these projects have gone on since the 1980s through SETI.
Most people are already aware of this as it was shown in the 1997 movie Contact. As mentioned earlier, Breakthrough Initiatives will be working with SETI to maximize their effort and increase efficiency.
Breakthrough Listen – Is concentrated on listening for possible alien messages.
- Biggest scientific search ever undertaken for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth.
- The program will include a survey of the 1,000,000 closest stars to Earth. It will scan the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane. Beyond the Milky Way, it will listen for messages from the 100 closest galaxies.
- Significant access to two of the world’s most powerful telescopes – 100 Meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and 64-meter diameter Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia.
- 50 times more sensitive than previous programs dedicated to SETI research.
- Will cover 10 times more of the sky than previous programs.
- Will scan at least 5 times more of the radio spectrum – and 100 times faster.
- In tandem with a radio search, Automated Planet Finder Telescope at Lick Observatory in California, will undertake world’s deepest and broadest search for optical laser transmissions.
Breakthrough Message – Is concentrated on sending out a friendly message to the universe.
- International competition to create digital messages that represent humanity and planet Earth. What a cool way for you to get involved in this project!
- The pool of prizes will total $1,000,000. Details on the competition will be announced at a later date.
- This initiative is not a commitment to send messages. It’s a way to learn about the potential languages of interstellar communication and to spur global discussion on the ethical and philosophical issues surrounding communication with intelligent life beyond Earth.
This is great news for the search for alien life, and gives SETI a big boost in its work. This new effort will hopefully increase our chances of finally finding out if we are alone in universe. One of the other great things to come out of this is that you can enter the competition to have your message included in the transmission to the universe.
How cool would it be to have your message be the first thing aliens hear of our world? What message would you send? Please share your comments in the section below this article.
See the full press conference announcement video below: