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SETI: June 2020


I review the origins and development of the idea of Dyson spheres, their purpose, their engineering, and their detectability. I explicate the ways in which the popular imagining of them as monolithic objects would make them dynamically unstable under gravity and radiation pressure, and mechanically unstable to buckling.

We have conducted a search for artificial radio emission associated with the Kepler-160 system following the report of the discovery of the Earth-like planet candidate KOI-456.04 on 2020 June 4 (arXiv:1905.09038v2).

We present Breakthrough Listen's "Exotica" Catalog as the centerpiece of our efforts to expand the diversity of targets surveyed in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). As motivation, we introduce the concept of survey breadth, the diversity of objects observed during a program.

Scientists at the Center for Astrophysics Harvard & Smithsonian and the University of Rochester are collaborating on a project to search the universe for signs of life via technosignatures, after receiving the first NASA non-radio technosignatures grant ever awarded, and the first SETI-specific NASA grant in over three decades.

Is there anyone out there? This is an age-old question that researchers have now shed new light on with a study that calculates there could be more than 30 intelligent civilizations throughout our galaxy. This is an enormous advance over previous estimates which spanned from zero to billions.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has heretofore been a largely passive exercise, reliant on the pursuit of technosignatures. Still, there are those that advocate a more active approach.