Mankind wants to find aliens really bad. For several decades have astronomers explored the cosmos hoping that one day we’d find conclusive evidence of aliens existing on other worlds.
Until this day, and officially speaking, aliens don’t exist, and mankind is the only living species in the entire, vast, infinite universe.
Searching for Aliens in 1,300 Stars
In hopes of finding our cosmic neighbors, astronomers have searched for aliens in 1,327 of the closest stars to our solar system.
The Breakthrough Listen project, backed by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and supported by Stephen Hawking, explored 1,327 stars located in relatively close proximity to Earth.
The experts behind the survey wanted to see if any signals of intelligent life, were coming from the 1,327 stars we observed.
The number of stars experts searched for is massive yet entirely insignificant when looking at the bigger picture.
Astronomers argue, with the best of their knowledge that there are about 10 billion galaxies in the observable universe alone.
The number of stars each galaxy hosts can vary, but if we assume an average of around 100 billion stars per galaxy, it would mean that there are about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe.
That’s a long way to go searching for aliens.
But Breakthrough Listen is on a correct path trying to find ET. This time they did not find traces of ET, but it doesn’t necessarily mean aliens aren’t there.
Astronomers make use of the best tools available to them, but maybe we searched at the wrong time, maybe there was interference from Earth, and maybe astronomers just searched the stars looking for wrong frequencies.
“Together with other recent work from the resurgent SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) community, we are beginning to put rigorous and clearly defined limits on the behavior of advanced life in the universe,” explained US Berkeley astrophysicist Danny Price and colleagues in a research paper revealing the search results, published in The Astrophysical Journal.
“We note that significant additional observational and theoretical work remains to be done before we are able to make general statements about the prevalence of technologically capable species.”
The researchers analyzed 1 petabyte (1 million gigabytes) of radio and optical wavelength data obtained from 1,327 stars, at a maximum distance of 160 light years away from Earth.
Several interesting signals appeared but all were found to have their origin in mundane sources, such as satellites in orbit around the Earth.
The information and data gathered by the project will be publicly available through Breakthrough’s Open Data Archive.