Representatives from Breakthrough Listen launched Nov. 7 the Parkes Radio Telescope, a $100 million project that had been going on for a decade, in the attempt to seek extraterrestrial life. The telescope is currently looking for proof in the vicinity of Proxima Centauri after the discovery of a possibly habitable planet in August 2016.
Humanity's interest in discovering alien life has gained traction along with the technological advancements. Since the beginning of the 20th century, when radio technology was discovered, the search for different life forms outside Earth hasn't ceased to grow.
Project Ozma was one of the first coordinated efforts whose purpose was to investigate the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and it was created by Frank Drake back in 1960. Since then, scientists worldwide have dreamt of proving their theories regarding the presence of alien life in the vastness of our universe.
Collaborative Search For Extraterrestrial Life
The Parkes Radio Telescope is located in New South Wales, Australia, and it is the third machine to help Breakthrough Listen in the quest for finding proof of extraterrestrial civilizations. The initiative of the group is the work of collaboration with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and Automated Planet Finder in California, aiming to analyze the possibility of life in the gigantic, generous universe.
"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," noted entrepreneur Yuri Milner in a statement.
The Breakthrough Listen project started as a joint effort of Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking in 2015, when the idea of this initiative was first announced.
The Parkes Radio Telescope will join the effort of surveying the galaxies close to ours for extraterrestrials. The telescope is a well-needed addition to the Breakthrough Listen project, adding its monitoring sensitivity to the computing capacity and extensive scientific research that already characterize this project.
"The Parkes Radio Telescope is a superb instrument, with a rich history," noted Pete Worden, Executive Director of the Breakthrough Initiatives.
Other Telescope Projects
Consequently, following the launch of this machinery, a new FAST telescope will also be part of this project, as the two programs will exchange observing plans, along with the methods and the data they employ in their analysis. The effort of global search for extraterrestrial life is unprecedented with these machines, and the possibilities of actually finding proof of another habitable environment have never been higher.