Scientists to observe interstellar asteroid for signs of extraterrestrial life
About three months ago, scientists observed the entry of a peculiar interstellar asteroid into our solar system. The cigar-shaped object, which has since been named ‘Oumuamua — Hawaiian for “messenger” — will be probed for signs of extraterrestrial life over the coming weeks, using the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia.
The observation process will be carried out under the banner of the revolutionary Breakthrough Listen project. The plan is for the initiative, which has already detected fast radio signal bursts from a distant universe, to ping radio waves off the object and determine if there is any sort of extraterrestrial technology on ‘Oumuamua — no word yet on whether Earth’s resident space mom REZZ was contacted to provide offerings of beats. The observation process shall be carried out over four common bandwidth ranges for a period of 10 hours. The initial observation process will begin on December 13, 2017.
In the words of project advisor Avi Loeb, “Most likely it is of natural origin, but because it is so peculiar, we would like to check if it has any sign of artificial origin, such as radio emissions. If we do detect a signal that appears artificial in origin, we’ll know immediately.”
H/T: The Guardian