Breakthrough Listen: Extending the Nearby Star Sample

Overview - Extending the Nearby Star Sample

Breakthrough Listen recently published results of analyzing 1,327 nearby stars within 160 light years of Earth, using the Green Bank and Parkes Telescopes. A study led by University of Manchester masters student Bart Wlodarczyk-Sroka combines Breakthrough Listen's radio observations with the star catalog created by the Gaia spacecraft, enabling the researchers to calculate new limits for radio transmitters for additional stars in the extended view of Green Bank and Parkes.

By including stars up to 33,000 light years away, they increased the number of stars studied by a factor of over 200, without needing to use any additional telescope time. The new study provides some of the most sensitive constraints to date on the presence of artificial radio transmitters in our galaxy.

The paper reporting their results has now been accepted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The radio datasets used in the original analysis by Price et al. are available from the Breakthrough Listen Open Data Archive, and the event files from that paper are also available. The extended list of stars from Gaia used in the new analysis is available as a CSV file or a VOTable.

A short video accompanying the press release is available on YouTube

Download the background art seen here (Credit: Breakthrough Listen / Danielle Futselaar):
full resolution .tif - low resolution .jpg - medium resolution .jpg - medium resolution .pdf

Background Art by Danielle Futselaar