NASA is out to search hundreds of the nearest exoplanets for alien life. They have announced a new partnership of $100 million Breakthrough Listen project with the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) scientists. NASA will use the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellites to find anomalies in the stellar ‘light curves’ while they would also try to listen to ‘technosignatures’, both these will help them identify alien civilizations.
The NASA and SETI collaboration was announced at the Astronautical Congress in Washington, DC. Whereas the TESS and Listen partnership will increase their Breakthrough Listen’s target list, they would also refine Listen’s analysis strategy and which would give even give more meaningful statistics in the event of non-detections.
Talking about the same Dr. S. Pete Worden, Executive Director of the Breakthrough Initiatives, stated, “It’s exciting that the world’s most powerful SETI search, with our partner facilities across the globe, will be collaborating with the TESS team and our most capable planet-hunting machine. We’re looking forward to working together as we try to answer one of the most profound questions about our place in the Universe: Are we alone?”
It is also confirmed that the Breakthrough Listening will have access to the world’s most advanced observatories, which also include Parkes and Green Bank radio telescopes, MeerKAT and the SETI Institute’s Allen telescope array. TESS is said to find up to 10,000 new planets, mostly those closer to earth, than those found by Kepler.