A couple of days ago, the officials of Breakthrough Listen project announced that they are going to observe the mysterious interstellar object Oumuamua, to check whether it emits radio signals or not. On December 13 the first observational even took place, and as per the latest reports, there is no such signal coming out from the Oumuamua, which indicates that the space rock does not contain any alien technology and is silent, at least for now. Breakthrough Listen’s Andrew Siemion, the director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center, said, “Indeed, nothing has popped up, but we’re busy churning through the data we’ve collected so far. It is great to see data pouring in from observations of this novel and interesting source.”
The Listen’s team members said that the researchers are not done analyzing the data that was collected from the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope present in West Virginia. They said that the latest observational effort on Oumuamua is the first of its four “epochs” that are scheduled according to interstellar object’s period of rotation. “Our team is excited to see what additional observations and analyses will reveal,” said Siemion. On Wednesday, the 10-hour long observation campaign began at 3: 45 pm ET and a breakthrough instrument fitted on the 330-foot (100 m) Green Bank Telescope started scanning the interstellar object across four radio bands, from 1 to 12 GHz.
The instrument has the capacity to scan billions of individual channels at once, and the frequency range that it can detect is equivalent to the signal strength of cellphones. Well, since its discovery in October, it has kept scientists baffling about its origin and its odd shape. Till now scientist could not figure out, whether it is an asteroid or a comet. They say that they have never seen such odd shaped object in the solar system and have called it one of the most peculiar objects in space.
Though, not sure about its origin, scientists have confirmed that Oumuamua is not from our Solar system. They say that the cigar-shaped or needle-like object Oumuamua is very dark and extremely reddish and also travels very fast inside our solar system, which indicates that the mysterious space rock is an interstellar object. Scientists want to get as much information as they can about Oumuamua before it leaves our Solar system. So, Breakthrough listen decided to analyze the mysterious interstellar object for any type o radio signals that it might be emitting.
The Breakthrough Listen Project uses a software that can narrow-bandwidth signals drifting in the frequencies detected by Green Bank. “By matching the rate at which these signals drift to the expected drift due to the motion of ‘Oumuamua, the software attempts to identify any signals that might be coming from ‘Oumuamua itself,” informed Listen’s team. According to Seimion, the analysis would take some time as they are looking for signals from weakly transmitting or very distant technologies, bathed in a sea of signals from their own technology.