Southern hemisphere’s largest radio telescope joins search for extraterrestrial tech
The largest in the southern hemisphere has joined the search for technosignatures, signals that indicate the presence of technology developed by extraterrestrial intelligence. A new instrument utilized by the , which is in a remote region of South Africa, will increase the number of targets that Breakthrough Listen can observe by a factor of 1,000.
A team of engineers and astronomers involved with Listen, an initiative that's , spent three years working on the instrument, which is said to be the most powerful equipment ever deployed to aid the search for technosignatures. The instrument is integrated with MeerKAT's control and monitoring systems.
Listen is already employing the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, the Parkes Telescope in Australia and others in its hunt for technosignatures. What's different about MeerKAT is that there's no need to physically move its antennas. Its 64 dishes can monitor an area of the sky 50 times larger than what GBT can view at once.