Is Anyone Home in Cygnus?

BY NICK BALLERING ? FEBRUARY 26, 2013 ? POST A COMMENT
FILED UNDER ASTROBIOLOGY, EXOPLANETS, KEPLER, OBSERVATIONS, RADIO ASTRONOMY
Title: A 1.1 to 1.9 GHz SETI Survey of the Kepler Field: I. A Search for Narrow-band Emission from Select Targets
Authors: Andrew P.V. Siemion, Paul Demorest, Eric Korpela, Ron J. Maddalena, Dan Werthimer, Jeff Cobb, Andrew W. Howard, Glen Langston, Matt Lebofsky, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Jill Tarter
First Author’s Institution: University of California, Berkeley

Background

With the discovery of over 800 confirmed exoplanets to date, astronomers can now make real progress on answering the question: are we alone? The Kepler mission, which monitors 150,000 stars in the constellation Cygnus for transit events, has found its share of planets – over 100 confirmed and more than 2,700 candidates. Some Earth-sized planets have now been found, as well as a number of planets in their star’s habitable zone.

But a planet in the habitable zone is not necessarily inhabited. A promising method to detect life on an exoplanet is to find biosignature gases in the planet’s atmosphere. And, while finding life on another planet would be a momentous discovery, perhaps the most exciting discovery of all would be to find intelligent life outside of the Solar System.

The authors of this paper seek to do just that. They looked for radio signals from alien civilizations on some of the planets recently discovered by Kepler.

Read more: Is Anyone Home in Cygnus? | astrobites.

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