We’ve been looking for and hoping for life of some kind out there in space for a very long time but so far, aliens don’t seem to be very present. That being said, there could be more out there than most expect.

Recently, I came across an article posted by Science Alert that got me thinking. In this article people from Science Alert spoke with researchers who spend their time looking at technosignatures which could be the key to understanding more than most would imagine. When it comes to looking for life outside of our own, we should also look to our own existance as a sign that there is more out there. If we exist, then so could another world like our own, right?

Research on technosignatures that was accepted by The Astronomical Journal actually showed that a lot of the tecnhosignatures being found stemmed from our own. I know, that might sound odd but it does help us to learn more about collecting this kind of information and better understanding it as a whole. After analyzing technosignatures from 31 Sun-like stars the researchers working on this were able to note that out of 26,631,913 technosignatues all of them were generated here on our home planet.

Science Alert wrote as follows on this topic after speaking to Jean-Luc Margot from the University of California Los Angeles who worked on this research:

“One of the great advantages of the search for technosignatures at radio wavelengths is that we are sensitive to signals emitted from thousands of light years away, and it does not take that much power,”

“For instance, our search can detect the Arecibo Planetary Radar at distances of over 400 light years. And it can detect a transmitter that is only 1,000 times more powerful than Arecibo – a trivial improvement for an advanced civilisation – all the way to the centre of the galaxy. The volume of the galaxy that can be sampled with a radio search for technosignatures is immense.”

“RFI could potentially obscure an extraterrestrial signal,”

“It would be a lot easier if we detected only a few signals. Fortunately, our algorithms allow us to automatically classify over 99.8 percent of the signals.”

I know, to the average person, this might not sound like much but it brings a lot of questions to the table. As this team and others like it are able to improve how they do things, who knows what else may be found out there. The more we narrow things down, the easier it will be to find whatever it is we are looking for, right?

The abstract of the study noted above goes as follows:

We conducted a search for technosignatures in April of 2018 and 2019 with the L-band receiver (1.15-1.73 GHz) of the 100 m diameter Green Bank Telescope. These observations focused on regions surrounding 31 Sun-like stars near the plane of the Galaxy. We present the results of our search for narrowband signals in this data set as well as improvements to our data processing pipeline. Specifically, we applied an improved candidate signal detection procedure that relies on the topographic prominence of the signal power, which nearly doubles the signal detection count of some previously analyzed data sets. We also improved the direction-of-origin filters that remove most radio frequency interference (RFI) to ensure that they uniquely link signals observed in separate scans. We performed a preliminary signal injection and recovery analysis to test the performance of our pipeline. We found that our pipeline recovers 93% of the injected signals over the usable frequency range of the receiver and 98% if we exclude regions with dense RFI. In this analysis, 99.73% of the recovered signals were correctly classified as technosignature candidates. Our improved data processing pipeline classified over 99.84% of the ~26 million signals detected in our data as RFI. Of the remaining candidates, 4539 were detected outside of known RFI frequency regions. The remaining candidates were visually inspected and verified to be of anthropogenic nature. Our search compares favorably to other recent searches in terms of end-to-end sensitivity, frequency drift rate coverage, and signal detection count per unit bandwidth per unit integration time.

What do you think about all of this? I for one am blown away. Who knows what time will bring in this area.

Leave a Reply