New way to hear signals from ET's home
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has a powerful new tool at its disposal, Australian scientists report.For the first time, a group led by astronomer Professor Steven Tingay from Curtin University have used a sensitive type of radio telescope, known as a very long baseline interferometer, to listen out for radio signals coming from a distant planet.
For eight hours in June 2007, they trained one of these interferometers - the Australian Long Baseline Array - toward a nearby star known as Gliese 581, which is thought to have two potentially life-sustaining planets orbiting it.
Although the foray drew a blank, the researchers say their approach holds promise for the future. Their report, posted on the pre-press website arXiv.org, is due to be published in The Astronomical Journal.
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