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Australian astronomers were scanning alien FM radio broadcasts for 17 hours

Australian astronomers were scanning alien FM radio broadcasts for 17 hours 1

Terrestrial receiving antennas were directed towards the constellation Vela.

Australian astronomers from the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at Curtin University caught FM radio transmissions from aliens for 17 hours in a row, aiming the antennas of their new Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope at Vela – a constellation of the southern firmament. 

We searched and searched, but we never caught anything, as reported in the specialized journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, referred to by the ScienceAlert portal. 

They say, they did not find a single meaningful or even ordered low-frequency signal – from technosignatures, scientifically opposing, which could belong to representatives of some extraterrestrial civilization.

Antenna field of the Australian radio telescope.  Photo: www.mwatelescope.org

Antenna field of the Australian radio telescope. Photo: www.mwatelescope.org

The “radio listeners” – Chenoa Tremblay and Steven Tingay – for some reason we decided that if they exist by reason, they should broadcast at low frequencies. Therefore, we used the MWA radio telescope operating in the 72-240 MHz range. In total, astronomers surveyed an area containing approximately 10 million stars. But nothing. Deaf. 

Technosignatures were not revealed, and 75 exoplanets already discovered in that direction. Either the aliens are not there at all, or they are very far away – so much so that their “broadcasting” has not yet reached us, or their radio transmitters are very weak and the signals propagated by them merge with the general background.

Researchers are not discouraged. On the contrary, they were inspired. Since we were convinced that it is possible to search for signals of extraterrestrial intelligence, as they say, in passing – simultaneously solving more serious scientific problems.

A more sensitive low-frequency radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), will soon be erected in western Australia, which will be able to listen to billions of star systems. Not a single alien radio will hidden from it.

By the way, radio transmissions from Earth are now being heard in a sphere just over 200 light-years across. Such a distance has spread the electromagnetic waves that humanity has been emitting into the surrounding space since the invention of radio.  These waves, moving at the speed of light, “washed” more than 6 thousand star systems. 

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They may already know about us there. And in the worlds located beyond the sphere, which astronomers call the “bubble of humanity”, the existence of intelligent humanity is not even suspected. But over time, they will be revealed to us, as we do to them.

Drake's equation began to give positive results.  Photo: NASA exoplanet research program.

Drake’s equation began to give positive results. Photo: NASA exoplanet research program.

No, there is someone

If you believe the American astronomers Louis Anchordoqui, Susanna Weber and Jorge Soriano, then in the foreseeable space there is someone to broadcast. In their opinion, within 10 kiloparsecs – this is about 30 thousand light years – there is at least one developed civilization that possesses the technology that allows the propagation of radio signals.

The astronomers presented their arguments in a work called ” Is there anybody out there? “

Anchordoqui and his colleagues came to the conclusion about the existence of alien civilizations by analyzing the famous Drake equation, which allows calculating the probable number of extraterrestrial civilizations. This equation was compiled in 1960 by the professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Frank Donald Drake.

In the equation named after the scientist, there are seven members: the number of stars formed per year, the proportion of stars with planets, the number of planets or their satellites with conditions suitable for life, the probability of the birth of any life, the probability of its transformation into a reasonable one, the proportion of planets with highly developed creatures, the lifetime of a civilization that lives on the planet.

Calculations using the Drake equation, carried out many times already, gave a different number of alien life: from zero to 5 thousand. Such a wide spread arose from the fact that scientists differently estimated the values ​​of the parameters included in the equation. They were based, of course, on the ideas and observations of their time.

Now, as it turned out, there are much more stars in the Universe than it seemed before, and there are so many planets, including those that seem to be livable.

New calculations have led to an encouraging result: the number of civilizations in the foreseeable space is greater than zero.

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The bubble of humanity is roughly 200 light-years in diameter.  Photo: wikipedia.org

The bubble of humanity is roughly 200 light-years in diameter. Photo: wikipedia.org

Our galaxy alone may contain 6 billion Earth-like planets

Canadian astronomers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) are also encouraging. In an article published in The Astronomical Journal, they prove that planets similar to ours – a kind of Second Earths – are by no means uncommon in the Milky Way, containing a myriad of stars – more than 400 billion. 

Our Earth is not alone.  Photo: wikipedia.orgOur Earth is not alone. Photo: wikipedia.org

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