Breakthrough narrows the search for intelligent life in the Milky Way

Breakthrough narrows the search for intelligent life in the Milky Way

Credits: University of Manchester

A team at the University of Manchester has discovered an analytical breakthrough that could significantly increase the likelihood of finding extraterrestrial life in our galaxy.


In a new study published today Monthly announcement from the Royal Astronomical Society, Researchers show re-analysis of existing data indicating a new milestone in Alien Information Search (SETI).

The joint research team has greatly expanded the scope of the search. Alien life From 1,400 stars to 280,000 stars, the number of stars analyzed with more than 200 elements increases.

As a result, it suggests that less than 0.04% of star systems have the potential to accommodate advanced civilizations with wireless technologies that are equal to or slightly more advanced than humans in the 21st century. Not only improving the limits Nearby starsFor the first time, the team set a limit that actually owns more distant stars, with warnings that potential life inhabiting the galaxy’s outer limits needs a much more powerful transmitter to be detectable.

According to the researchers, the analysis can only find intelligent and technologically advanced civilizations that use: spread For example, it cannot detect “simple” life or non-technical civilization.

Credits: University of Manchester

The team is made up of master’s student Bart Wlodarczyk-Sroka and Professor Michael Garrett, an advisor at the University of Manchester, UK, and Dr Andrew Siemion, director of the Breakthrough Listen Initiative, said artificial radio transmitters called techno signatures in the Milky Way.

Looking through a catalog produced by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia spacecraft that measured distances to more than 1 billion stars, the researchers recalculated the limits for the spread of transmitters around additional stars within the field of view of the radio telescope. By selecting stars for far greater distances (up to about 33,000 light-years) than the original sample of nearby stars, it was possible to increase the number of stars studied from 1,327 to 288,315.

Team leader Mike Garrett has always pondered the fact that SETI search does not generally take into account many other space objects within the sensitive sky range of the telescope besides the main target. According to Garrett, Gaia changed everything. “Knowing the location and distance for these additional sources greatly improves our ability to limit the spread of extraterrestrial intelligence in and beyond our galaxy. We look forward to SETI in the future.” Here is a survey to make good use of this approach. ”

Wlodarczyk-Sroka said, “Our results help put a meaningful limit on transmitter penetration that can be compared to what we can build using 21st century technology.”

“We now have less than 1 in 1600 stars closer than about 330 Light year The host transmitter is several times more powerful than the most powerful radar on the planet. A world where people live with transmitters that are far more powerful than we can currently produce should be rarer. “

The number of stars studied led Wlodarczyk-Sroka to place the strictest limits on the spread of powerful radio transmitters in this region of our galaxy. Also, for the first time, the team was able to do this with a function of the stellar type. The expanded sample includes not only a wide main sequence, but also numerous giants. star And a white dwarf.


Astronomers identify 18 stars lacking metal in the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy


Additional information:
Listen to the stellar survey around the groundbreaking expansion with other stellar objects in the field, arXiv: 2006.09756 [astro-ph.IM] arxiv.org/pdf/2006.09756.pdf

Summons: Breakthrough narrows the search for intelligent life in the Milky Way (September 2, 2020) (September 2, 2020 https://phys.org/news/2020-09-breakthrough-narrows-intelligent-life-milky search in .html)

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