Sunday, January 30, 2011

Could Galactic Flashes be Signal Transmissions by Other Civilizations?

Astronomers are looking at a strange occurrence in deep space, the occasional celestial flash. According to astronomers "These flashes can be anything from explosions on surfaces of nearby stars, deaths of distant stars, exploding black holes, or even perhaps transmissions by other civilizations."

The scientists will use the Long Wavelength Array, designed to survey the sky over a wide range of frequencies. The hope is to combine the power of 13,000 antennas and apply them to the survey.

The first added to the array will consist of 256 antennas and will star surveying the sky in the summer of 2011. However the New Mexico Long Wavelength Array when complete will consist of 53 stations, with a total of 13,000 antennas covering an area of 248 miles.

The array will produce radio images that may reveal radio waves in the 20 to 80 MHZ range coming from planets outside our solar system. These frequencies represent one of the last and most poorly explored regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. In addition to planets, the telescope will pick up a host of other cosmic phenomena.

One phenomenon in particular is radio flashes that previous experiments had proved existed. However all the flashes so far seemed to have been non-astronomy targets -- either the sun, or meteors reflecting TV signals high in Earth's atmosphere. But just showing that they can be detected means searches using the Long Wavelength Array technology might lead to new discoveries.

The Daily Galaxy

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