If aliens live around Tabby's star, Breakthrough Listen Initiative, a project funded by physicist Stephen Hawking, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, will try to find them.
Breakthrough will spend hours of time observing Tabby's star, a weird star that some in the astronomy circle speculate to be a structure built by an advanced civilization. The University of California Berkeley, which houses the initiative, announced the news Tuesday.
"The Breakthrough Listen program has the most powerful SETI equipment on the planet, and access to the largest telescopes on the planet," said Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and co-director of Breakthrough Listen in a press release.
"We can look at it with greater sensitivity and for a wider range of signal types than any other experiment in the world."
Breakthrough Listen signed with Berkeley in 2015 to search for life beyond Earth and was created with $100 million in funding over 10 years.
Astronomers will use the Green Bank radio telescope to monitor the star. They will observe it for three nights per week over the next two months, starting Wednesday, for eight hours each night.
"The Green Bank Telescope is the largest fully steerable radio telescope on the planet, and it's the largest, most sensitive telescope that's capable of looking at Tabby's star given its position in the sky," Siemion said.
"We've deployed a fantastic new SETI instrument that connects to that telescope, that can look at many gigahertz of bandwidth simultaneously and many, many billions of different radio channels all at the same time so we can explore the radio spectrum very, very quickly."
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