The truth is out there, and NASA wants to find out really bad whether or not we are alone in the universe.
Officially speaking, aliens do not exist, and we are the only living organisms in the vastness of the cosmos.
Although we’ve been bombarded with news about UFO’s, alien life, and alien technology in recent times, officially speaking aliens are not real, and UFO’s are just a misinterpreted phenomenon. That’s the version science offers for phenomena we can’t comprehend but now that exists; There’s something put there, but we just don’t know what it is, but aliens are probably not it.
But science wants to expand its horizons and that’s why Breakthrough Listen, an initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, will collaborate with scientists working on NASA’s TESS exoplanet search mission.
Announced this week at the International Astronautics Congress in Washington, the agreement will expand the list of Breakthrough Listen objectives, adding more than 1,000 “objects of interest” identified by TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite).
“It is exciting that the most powerful SETI search, with our partner facilities worldwide, is collaborating with the TESS team and our most capable planet search engine,” stated Pete Worden, executive director of Breakthrough Initiatives.
He added that scientists are eager to work together as they attempt to answer the deepest question about our place in the cosmos; “are we alone?”
TESS was launched into space on April 2018, and its mission is to “hunt” exoplanets orbiting relatively nearby bright stars.
TESS measures the “light curves” (how the brightness of the stars changes over time) to look for telltale signs caused by “transits” – where a planet passes in front of the star as seen from Earth.
The cutting-edge instruments in TESS are sensitive enough to detect small, rocky planets similar to Earth.
Although TESS is a revolutionary planet-hunting telescope this same method was used by its famous predecessor, Kepler space telescope, which found around 70% of the 4,000 known exoplanets to date.
However, it is estimated that TESS will be even more prolific, discovering perhaps more than 10,000 new exoplanets in the course of its two-year primary mission.
In fact, TESS is already proving to be a rock-star telescope. Experts have revealed that to date, TESS has found more than 1,000 “objects of interest,” 29 of which have already been confirmed as planets.
Now, the Breakthrough Listen project will add TESS’s objects of interest to its list, pointing radio telescopes on Earth (Green Bank, Parkes, MeerKAT, etc.) towards them in search of technosignatures, that is, signals from advanced extraterrestrial civilizations such as transmissions of radio or artificial megastructures around stars.
This way, scientists will not only search for evidence of habitability and bio-signatures in distant worlds, but also of potentially intelligent alien civilizations that have achieved sufficient technological level to be detected.
However, despite the fact that such advanced alien civilizations may exist in the cosmos, some scientists believe that, if there were very advanced civilizations out there, they would camouflage their presence in some way to avoid being found by unwanted or potentially hostile visitors.