Some Details about the Breakthrough Initiatives

We will be forever curious about alien life. The universe is vast and it is possible that we are not the only ones living here. Many explorations were sent but up to now, there is no confirmation that alien life exists and efforts were futile. For Singaporeans who believe that alien life exists, they will be happy to know that the search for extra-terrestrial life will be commenced and this time, with firepower.

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Stephen Hawking, a physicist and Yuri Milner, a tech billionaire will embark on an ambitious $100 million program seeking to find extra-terrestrial life. The project is called Breakthrough Initiatives. Aside from two prominent people, the project is also endorsed by British scientists. The plan is to use the newest scientific methods to answer mankind’s continuing puzzles: Are we alone?

The scope of the search will be vast like the universe from the nearby starts to the galactic centre, nearby galaxies and the entire Milky Way. This project will be the biggest so far in man’s attempt to seek life outside earth. What are some details about the project? Here are some:

  • Powerful telescopes: The project includes powerful telescopes with extraordinary computing capacity. Telescopes include Australia’s 64 meter Parkes Telescope and America’s 100 meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope.
  •  Listening program: A listening program will be developed in an effort to investigate enormous amounts of radio signals.
  • Messaging program: Messaging program is perhaps the best part because people are encouraged to take part. The messaging program will include digital messages that best characterize earth. People are encouraged to make the best digital messages and will be rewarded 41 million in prizes. However, these messages will not be sent because Hawking fear
    that the message might branch aggressive actions if heard by alien races.

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  • SETI@home: This is a project of Berkeley which utilizes nine million volunteers all over the world who will contribute computer power for searching of astronomical data.
  • Using Lick Observatory: The observatory is in California and it can help by searching optical transmissions.

Milner said that the program will run for ten years although some researchers think that it will take longer to find evidences or proof that alien life truly exists. This is the time that we embark on our search for lives beyond earth. If the research did not find any proof, the data it will produce will still be fascinating.

Whether we believe life beyond earth or not, the project will be a breakthrough. We wish the organizers and scientists luck.

A westerly view of Lick Observatory and its open telescope domes after sunset.

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