We have just released a short AAS Research Note on a search for technosignatures from asteroid (514017) 2015 BZ509 (aka BZ509). While we didn’t find any candidate signals, we’ll be searching a selection of intriguing asteroids as part of the ongoing Breakthrough Listen program. BZ509 dances around the Sun in a remarkable retrograde (backward) orbit, stabilized by perfectly-timed close encounters with Jupiter’s regular orbit (a ‘resonance’). A leading explanation for BZ509’s unusual orbit is that it came from outside the Solar system and got trapped…Continue Reading “SETI observations of asteroid BZ509”

We’re pleased to announce that our journal article detailing the Breakthrough Listen data recorder at the Parkes radio telescope has been published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. The Breakthrough-Parkes data recorder digitises signals from the radio telescope and distributes the data across a cluster of high-performance computers. The system uses digital signal processing boards designed for radio astronomy by the CASPER collaboration, which outputs digitized data over high-speed Ethernet. The digitized data–more than 128 Gb/s–are then recorded to disk across 26…Continue Reading “New Parkes instrument paper published in PASA”

Over the next two days, we will be participating in some exciting coordinated observations as part of the Deeper, Wider, Faster (DWF) collaboration. For a few hours of our time on the Parkes radio telescope, we will co-observe several galaxy clusters along with an array of optical, radio and space telescopes. The DWF program was conceived to find transient phenomena like supernova, fast radio bursts (FRBs), and stellar flares, by pointing many different telescopes at the same patch of sky. If there’s a bang, all…Continue Reading “Deeper Wider Faster SETI”

Last week, Breakthrough Listen participated in the Australia Broadcasting Corporation’s Stargazing Live TV show (for those of you in Australia, you can still catch the episode on ABC iView). The show was jam-packed with content, so we had to cram everything into just 5 minutes. For those of you left craving more, we thought we’d write up a bit more about what was going on here! In the show, Alan Duffy and I observed the pulsar Vela (J0835-4559) and the exoplanet Wolf 1061 c with…Continue Reading “ABC Stargazing Live”

Detection of FRB 180301 with the Breakthrough Listen backend instrument at the Parkes Radio Telescope. The top panel shows the de-dispersed pulse while the bottom panel shows the frequency structure with the pulse dispersed across ~340 MHz of the observed band. During our observations at the Parkes radio telescope yesterday, we detected a mysterious and fleeting phenomena known as a Fast Radio Burst (FRBs). As we did when we caught the only FRB known to repeat, FRB 121102, in the act, we’ve written up initial…Continue Reading “Breakthrough Listen detects a new Fast Radio Burst”