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Someone is phoning home - from Breakthrough Listen:

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HELPS BREAKTHROUGH LISTEN FIND NEW FAST RADIO BURSTS
Machine learning algorithm also helping Listen search for new kinds of candidate signals from extraterrestrial intelligence.

San Francisco – September 10, 2018 – Breakthrough Listen – the astronomical program searching for signs of intelligent life in the Universe – has applied machine learning techniques to detect 72 new fast radio bursts (FRBs) emanating from the "repeater" FRB 121102.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are bright pulses of radio emission, just milliseconds in duration, thought to originate from distant galaxies. Most FRBs have been witnessed during just a single outburst. In contrast, FRB 121102 is the only one to date known to emit repeated bursts, including 21 detected during Breakthrough Listen observations made in 2017 with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia.

No regular pattern. The signal starts and stops. Up until now, the only fast radio bursts we have seen have been isolated events. Now we are seeing one source sending out multiple signals. Fascinating.

Breakthrough Listen is a serious SETI program - finally using some of the larger radio telescopes - from their web site:

LISTEN
Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. The scope and power of the search are on an unprecedented scale:

The program includes a survey of the 1,000,000 closest stars to Earth. It scans the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane. Beyond the Milky Way, it listens for messages from the 100 closest galaxies to ours.

The instruments used are among the world’s most powerful. They are 50 times more sensitive than existing telescopes dedicated to the search for intelligence.

The radio surveys cover 10 times more of the sky than previous programs. They also cover at least 5 times more of the radio spectrum – and do it 100 times faster. They are sensitive enough to hear a common aircraft radar transmitting to us from any of the 1000 nearest stars.

We are also carrying out the deepest and broadest ever search for optical laser transmissions. These spectroscopic searches are 1000 times more effective at finding laser signals than ordinary visible light surveys. They could detect a 100 watt laser (the energy of a normal household bulb) from 25 trillion miles away.

Listen combines these instruments with innovative software and data analysis techniques.

The initiative will span 10 years and commit a total of $100,000,000.

Very cool - these are the same people who gave the $3M prize to Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell - she discovered Pulsars and her supervisor at the University of Cambridge, Antony Hewish got the Nobel Prize for it. He built the telescope but did not discover the pulsar.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on September 10, 2018 8:00 PM.

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