A new large-scale sky survey of the universe’s “dark forests” examined more than 10 million stars, but found no evidence of extraterrestronity technology,media CNET reported. The study, published Monday in the Australian Astronomical Society’s journal, details the search for extraterritorian civilizations using the Murchison Wide Area Array (MWA) radio telescope.
The array, a collection of 4,096 antennas located on western Australia’s red soil, can detect radio signals from space. “They are small spider-like antennas placed on the ground,” explained Chenoa Tremblay, co-author of the study and an astrophysicist at CSIRO, an Australian government scientific research organization.
Tremblay and co-author Stephen Tingay used MWA to listen for “technical signals” in a portion of the sky around vela constellations, or evidence of extraterrestary technology. Tremblay explained that the region is scientifically interesting because a large number of stars have exploded and died, creating ideal conditions for the formation of new stars. The search for extraterrestary life “uses” other studies of this region to understand the life cycle of stars.
But how do you tell if radio signals from space come from extraterrestary civilizations? “Think of the car alarm, when you don’t turn on the lights, there’s a 呯呯 of ‘呯呯’ at the same interval,” Tremblay said. The investigation looked for duplicate sounds, perhaps escape noise from planets, or “a purposeful signal.”
After 17 hours of monitoring of the Vela constellation region, astronomers found no unknown signals. While the survey was able to capture more than 10.3 million sources of stars and included six known exoplanets (there may be more exoplanets in the region), the team noted that it was like trying to find something in the ocean, but only to study “the amount of water equivalent to a large backyard pool.”
“The search for technical features assumes that civilization has technologies similar to our own,” Tremblay said. She points out that intelligent life may not have developed the ability to communicate over radio signals. Part of her work also looked at where the simple molecules needed for life come from and how we can detect them. If we can find signals from these molecules, this could be a signal of extraterrestary life.
A deeper look at the center of the Milky Way could be possible, as the team has previously examined the space region. Since the search for life is carried out in cooperation with other scientific experiments, Tremblay said, “our next step will depend on the development of other sciences.” “
This is an encouraging sign for SETI. It may be like looking for a leaf in a dark forest, but by combining this work with other scientific and astrophysical surveys, the universe will slowly spread to us.
On September 2nd researchers published a “breakthrough” that could help narrow the search for intelligent life in the Milky Way. Astronomers from the University of Manchester and breakthrough listening have re-analysed the data and imposed new restrictions on radio transmissions from within the Milky Way. The new constraints help to determine more clearly where to listen. New data show that less than 0.04 percent of star systems can carry extraterrestary civilizations using technology that scientists can detect.