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Tag Archives: radio telescope

From a UC Berkeley press release, July 20, 2015:

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation and its founder, internet investor Yuri Milner, have signed a contract with UC Berkeley to lead a major escalation in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The foundation has committed $100 million over 10 years to UC Berkeley and other participating institutions for a project called Breakthrough Listen, the most comprehensive scientific SETI project yet.

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has already contracted with two of the world’s largest radio telescopes – the 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the 64-meter Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia – to devote between 20 and 25 percent of their telescope time to searching for signals from other civilizations. The funding will also allow the Automated Planet Finder at the Lick Observatory near San Jose, CA, to search for optical laser signals from other planets.

For the Breakthrough Listen program, UC Berkeley will build high-speed digital electronics and high-bandwidth signal processing instruments to gather and analyze the radio and optical data collected by the telescopes, and will train the next generation of SETI scientists.

The program will generate vast amounts of data, all of which will be open to the public. Over time this could constitute the largest amount of scientific data ever made available to the public, according to the foundation.

Links: the full UC Berkeley press release, Breakthrough Listen homepage.

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The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has released a new video about the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), narrated by actress Jodie Foster, for their Visitor Center near Socorro, New Mexico. (See Section 3.8d and Section 15.4.)

Credit: Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

Called Beyond the Visible, the 24-minute movie tells the behind-the-scenes story of the operation and scientific achievements of the VLA, which has been at the forefront of astrophysical research since 1980. Spectacular ground and aerial footage of the iconic radio telescope is augmented by first-person interviews with staffers who keep the telescope working and scientists who use it to discover exciting new facts about the Universe. The documentary also depicts many of the technical tasks needed to keep the array functioning at the forefront of science.

Links: The NRAO has made the video available for viewing online here. An earlier movie “Into Deepest Space” tells the story of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).