To Listen Breakthrough Project aimed at the search for extraterrestrial life, expanding its capabilities with the announcement of the inclusion in the programme of use of a network of radio telescopes MeerKAT, located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. With the installation and other telescopes around the world, scientists project a Breakthrough Listen are going to explore 1 million stars for signs of signals from alien civilizations.
Recall, Breakthrough Listen-initiated billionaire Yuri Milner recently deceased and Stephen Hawking, which made the program search for extraterrestrial life, as well as $ 100 million.
The network is Connected to the MeerKAT radio telescopes are already working in conjunction with the radio telescopes in green Bank (owned by National radio astronomy Observatory and is located in West Virginia) and radio telescope and the Australian Parkes Observatory to significantly extend the capabilities of search, say the organizers of the project.
"joining forces with a MeerKAT enormously enhance the possible Breakthrough Listen. Now this is a truly global project," — said one of the founders of the project Yuri Milner.
The Official opening of a network of radio telescopes in the MeerKAT was held this July. The network consists of 64 radiotrack, the diameter of each of which is 13.5 meters. The signals received by each of the plates are combined into a single source, which significantly increases the sensitivity, resolution, and viewing angle, says the project Breakthrough Listen.
Network of radio telescopes in the MeerKAT was created with the purpose of astrofizicheskie[ research and as a harbinger of a more ambitious project — Square Kilometre Array (SKA), whose construction will be completed in about 2024. In the framework of this project it is planned to merge into a single and the world's largest radio interferometer in a few tens of radio telescopes whose collecting area should significantly exceed 1 square kilometer. The project involved more than 20 countries.
As the portal Space.com the MeerKAT radio telescopes do not have to postpone his basic scientific work in connection with new tasks to search for signs of extraterrestrial life. Team Breakthrough Listen installed in the control center of the MeerKAT is a small supercomputer, which will allow the installation to search for extraterrestrial life in the background almost non-stop.
"With this system we can send into space from a lot of rays and to obtain qualitative data from multiple objects simultaneously. It complements and at the same time enhances our ability to work with other telescopes. The search for extraterrestrial technologyor will be much faster and more accurately than ever before," — says the curator of the project Breakthrough Listen Andrew Simion.
We are Talking about the enormous amount of incoming data. System Listen installed in the control center MeerKAT has an input transmission rate at 4 terabits per second, which is about 40 000 times higher than the bandwidth of the average home Internet connection, say team members Breakthrough Listen.
"This development represents a big step in the search for extraterrestrial life. The use of such a large network distributed over a vast territory of ultra-sensitive telescopes, like MeerKAT, offers many advantages compared to conventional large single plates", — says one curator Michael Garrett.
"a Joint project of The Breakthrough Listen — MeerKAT can be a very powerful new tool for the search for extraterrestrial life and bring this program to a new level," — adds the researcher.
According to the original plan the MeerKAT network was to consist of 20 radiotrack. The project wanted to call the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT). Later, however, the South African government has increased financing of the project, which allowed to build a total of 64 radio telescope. The expansion of the project followed the name change. A network of radio telescopes called the MeerKAT. The word "meer" c Afrikaans means "more." In addition, the MeerKAT is fully consonant with the English word "meerkat", which translates as meerkat. These animals from the family mangustov very common in South Africa and are of strict observation.
Discuss the potential of the project Breakthrough Listen .
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