The biggest EVER scientific search for ALIENS outside our galaxy | Breakthrough Listen Project

From Dr. Becky.

Go to https://brilliant.org/drbecky to get a 30-day free trial and the first 200 people will get 20% off their annual subscription! Searching for aliens might sound like something from sci-fi, but there are legitimate scientific searches for signs of life beyond Earth in the Universe. Either through biosignatures in planet atmospheres, or for technosignatures of advanced civilisations. The largest ever search for technosignatures is being conducted by the Breakthrough Listen project, and this month they published their latest research searching for extra-galactic signals from beyond our Milky Way. Turns out this is getting harder and harder to do with each passing year as more satellites are launched into orbit around Earth. In particular, SpaceX’s Starlink is once again causing trouble for us astronomers…

Choza et al. (2023; breakthrough listen search for extra-galactic technosignatures) – https://seti.berkeley.edu/galaxies/choza.pdf
Kardashev (1964; definition of Kardashev civilisations) – https://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/pdf/1964SvA…..8..217K
Gajjar et al. (2021; technosignature search in the centre of the Milky Way) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2104.14148.pdf
Wlodarczyk-Sroka et al. (2021; Breakthrough Listen project for stars in the Milky Way) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2006.09756.pdf
Tremblay & Tingay (2020; search for technosignatures in the Vela region) – https://arxiv.org/pdf/2009.03267.pdf
Klein et al. (1988; radio spectrum of M82) – https://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/pdf/1988A%26A…190…41K

00:00 – Introduction
00:59 – Biosignatures in the search for aliens
02:00 – Technosignatures in the search for aliens
02:53 – The Breakthrough Listen project
04:15 – Extra-galactic technosignatures
04:59 – Kardashev Type-II civilisations & Dyson Spheres
06:55 – The Doppler Drift search method
09:24 – The results from Choza et al. (2023) – no evidence for technosignatures
10:50 – Could AI spot anything that’s been missed?
12:00 – Radio Frequency Interference from satellites (like SpaceX’s Starlink)
13:51 – Brilliant
15:12 – Bloopers

Video filmed with a Sony Alpha 7 IV

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👩🏽‍💻 I’m Dr. Becky Smethurst, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford (Christ Church). I love making videos about science with an unnatural level of enthusiasm. I like to focus on how we know things, not just what we know. And especially, the things we still don’t know. If you’ve ever wondered about something in space and couldn’t find an answer online – you can ask me! My day job is to do research into how supermassive black holes can affect the galaxies that they live in. In particular, I look at whether the energy output from the disk of material orbiting around a growing supermassive black hole can stop a galaxy from forming stars.

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