In DepthAstronomy

Web billionaire bankrolls search for alien signals

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Science  24 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6246, pp. 357-358
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6246.357

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Are we alone in the universe? Russian internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner wants to know—and he's willing to pay for an answer. Milner has donated $100 million for a 10-year effort to detect signals from other civilizations in the universe, an effort that has drawn high-profile support from physicists and astronomers, including Stephen Hawking. The new project, dubbed "Breakthrough Listen," will boost funding for such searches fivefold and will be 50 times as sensitive as previous efforts and cover 10 times more of the sky. In addition, the project will throw a lifeline to budget-strapped radio telescopes, and it will develop new technology to monitor 10 billion radio frequencies simultaneously.