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Credits: space.com


Could intelligent aliens be lurking at the heart of the Milky Way?


A new search for extraterrestrial life aims to find out by listening for radio pulses from the center of our galaxy. Narrow-frequency pulses are naturally emitted by stars called pulsars, but they're also used deliberately by humans in technology such as radar. Because these pulses stand out against the background radio noise of space, they're an effective way of communicating across long distances — and an appealing target to listen for when searching for alien civilizations.

Scientists described the alien-hunting strategy in a new study, published May 30 in The Astronomical Journal. Researchers led by Cornell University graduate student Akshay Suresh developed software to detect these repetitive frequency patterns and tested it on known pulsars to be sure it could pick up the narrow frequencies. These frequency ranges are very small, at about a tenth of the width of frequencies used by a typical FM radio station. The researchers then searched data from the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia using the method.

Source: space.com

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