The Allen Telescope Array, ATA, a set of 42 radio astronomy antennas about 300 miles north of San Francisco, became the latest victim Science California’s budget crisis, when the University of California, Berkeley, withdrew its funding for the project. The ATA has operated as a listening station for alien transmissions from four years ago, and its loss would be a blow to the hopes of finding something green men.With a little luck (and money), the ATA will continue its search of extraterrestrial civilizations at least until 2016, when there will be a new guy, much larger in the block: the matrix of $ 2100 million square kilometers, or SKA, a collaboration between 70 organizations in 20 countries. The SKA is essentially a bigger, more advanced version of the ATA. The site is not decided, but plans to call thousands of dishes, each larger and more powerful than the ATA, which extends over an area of ??over 1,800 kilometers wide. The dishes may signal turn in unison, collecting radio waves of large expanses of sky and transmission of the ATA to computing facilities with the capacity to process 1 billion PCs The SKA will be 50 times more sensitive than its predecessor, capable of recording on the rise “we are here” civilizations emissions midway through the Milky Way. It could also detect weak signals leak into the space aliens, similar to airport radar or TV transmission towers. In other words, the SKA could hear the aliens, even when they are trying to communicate with us.
All this for foreigners? Not exactly. Unlike the ATA, which was mainly devoted to the search for intelligent life, the SKA will help to study general relativity, star and planet formation, and more. The hunt for ET is just one of many objectives. Lazio, the SKA project’s chief scientist, explains that many goals do not conflict: The same signals are met while studying the stars can analyze the messages from extraterrestrials. “Each time point in the sky dishes, you get information that might also find extraterrestrial civilizations,” he says. The SKA is also protected against stinginess.