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”

We’ve completed our analysis of 8 hours of Green Bank Telescope observations of “interstellar visitor” ‘Oumuamua. Billions of channels, covering the frequency range 1 – 12 GHz, were scanned, over an entire rotation of the object. A search for narrow-band signals ruled out transmitters ten times as faint as a typical cellphone — an impressive demonstration of Listen’s capabilities, given that ‘Oumuamua was 350 million kilometers from Earth at the time of the observations! You can read the paper at https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.02814.

As indicated in our press release, we are excited to be focusing our observational efforts on ‘Oumuamua, the mysterious interloper recently spotted moving rapidly through the solar system. Our ‘Oumuamua observation campaign will begin on Wednesday, December 13 at 3:00 pm ET. Using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, we will observe ‘Oumuamua across four radio bands, from 1 to 12 GHz. Our first phase of observations will last a total of 10 hours, divided into four “epochs” based on the object’s period of…Continue Reading “‘Oumuamua observations in 3,2,1…”

Exciting news: the HARPS exoplanet hunter team have discovered a new, Earth-like exoplanet orbiting around the star Ross 128, one of our closest neighbors. This newly discovered ‘exo-Earth’, designated Ross 128b, is particularly remarkable as it is thought to have surface temperatures similar to here on Earth. Curiously, this is the second time this year Ross 128 has been in the news. In May 2017, an intriguing signal in the direction of Ross 128 was detected at Arecibo. In July, we conducted follow-up observations with…Continue Reading “SETI observations of ‘exo-Earth’ Ross 128b”