The new quest for alien life recently launched by the astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and founded with $135 million by the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner will receive data from the very powerful Parkes radio telescope of CSIRO, in New South Wales. This is one of world's only two radio telescopes participating in the project that will scan 100 star systems for signs of life.
The Australian radio telescope has a particular advantage conferred by its location. It can provide an unhindered view of the southern hemisphere. Thanks to this feature, scientists will be able to scan 50 times more sensitivity and 10 times more sky than previous searches for extraterrestrial life.
Alan Duffy, a researcher at Swinburne University of Technology, declared that this will be a massive scale, systematic search at proportions the scientific community "have never been able to attempt before."
Breakthrough Listen, the new project for searching signs of alien life, will continue the work done by the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) over a time frame of 50 years. All the data collected by the new project will be made available to the wider scientific community.
According to Dr. Duffy, this new program will scan a larger array of frequencies for signs of life. An important role in the project will have data coming from the Australian Parkes radio telescope since the southern hemisphere provides a pretty good view of the Milky Way.
ANU's Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics scientist Naomi McClure-Griffiths, added that from the southern hemisphere it is possible to see a very large number of the nearby stars as well as seeing into the center of our galaxy. According to McClure-Griffiths, the Australian radio telescope is in a very good position for observing the places within the galaxy with a higher probability of solar systems with plates where it's possible to find life.
The quest for extraterrestrial life is one of the most important ventures of the 21th century. According to Dr. Duffy, the idea of hostile aliens is "weird". In his vision, there are no reasons why an advanced race capable of crossing huge distances between stars would still be in a primitive social stage where wars and conquers are an acceptable way of life. Most likely they would not bother to come all this way only to enslave us and take our resources.
At such an advanced technological and scientific development, it is most likely their civilization has already fixed things out beyond our comprehension and current technological capabilities. They might be able since long ago to perform asteroid mining, so why would they want our resources? Dr. Duffy added that if we take a look at the history of mankind, any time a more advanced civilization has met with one less capable, it never went well. So, for this reason, we still have to be cautious in our interactions with an eventual alien species.