Thursday, July 23, 2015

Russian Billionaire Bankrolls New Search for Alien Life

Yuri Milner

By Alejandro Rojas

     Scientists working on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) got an unprecedented boost in funding that will greatly increase their ability to listen for aliens. The announcement was made Monday at the Royal Society in London.

Russian billionaire Yuri Milner shared the stage with Stephen Hawking to make the announcement. Milner has pledged to donate $100 million over the next ten years. The funding will help gain access to two of the largest and most powerful telescopes in the world, the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Parkes Telescope in Australia.

It will also allow SETI to scan a larger amount of the radio spectrum. Currently SETI gets around 36 hours a year with each telescope, and they scan about 20 to 50 megahertz of the radio spectrum. This new project will allow SETI to access thousands of hours with the telescopes, and allow them to scan the entire 10 gigahertz radio spectrum. . . .

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