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Australia Launches Telescope in Search for Extraterrestrial Alien Life

Nov 09, 2016 03:31 AM EST
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Representatives from Breakthrough Listen, a decade long $100 million project launched last year by Yuri Milner and Steven Hawking, announced that the Parkes Radio Telescope has been utilized for the initiative.
(Photo : Illustration by NASA via Getty Images)

Humanity has always been interested in what lies beyond the comfortable atmosphere of the planet. Since the advent of radio technology in the early 20th century, the search for extraterrestrial life has been ongoing.

From Project Ozma performed by astronomer Frank Drake in 1960 to the three ongoing radio searches at present, scientists all over the world are still hopeful that evidence of life outside of Earth would be soon within reach. In fact, one initiative, Breakthrough Listen, is a little bit closer to the objective through the inclusion of one more telescope to the project.

Last November 7, 2016, representatives from Breakthrough Listen, a decade long $100 million project launched last year by Yuri Milner and Steven Hawking, announced that the Parkes Radio Telescope has been utilized for the initiative and has since produced its first observations last Monday.

"The addition of Parkes is an important milestone. These major instruments are the ears of planet Earth, and now they are listening for signs of other civilizations" quipped Yuri Milner, internet billionaire and founder of the initiative in an official statement.

Parkes Radio Telescope, as part of the project, was turned towards Proxima Centauri in order to look for possible signs of extraterrestrial life in the area within the vicinity of the star closest to the sun. Proxima Centauri became the target of most astronomers following the discovery of a possible habitable planet last August of this year.

The Parkes Radio Telescope, which is located in New South Wales, Australia, is the third telescope to be used for Breakthrough Listen. Together with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, USA and Automated Planet Finer in California, USA, the Breakthrough Listen initiative aims to uncover whether civilizations scattered along the vastness of the universe have developed machines similar to those on earth.

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