Press Release

The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: No Evidence of Claimed Periodic Spectral Modulations in High Resolution Optical Spectra of Nearby Stars

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
astro-ph.SR
December 9, 2018
Filed under
The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: No Evidence of Claimed Periodic Spectral Modulations in High Resolution Optical Spectra of Nearby Stars
APF dome and telescope at sunset on Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose, CA.
Lick Observatory

We report on high-resolution spectra obtained by the Automated Planet Finder and high resolution optical Levy Spectrometer and the search for periodic spectral modulations, such as those reported in Borra (2016).

In their analysis of 2.5 million spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Borra (2016) report periodic spectral modulations in 234 stars, and suggest that these signals may be evidence of extra-terrestrial civilizations. To further evaluate this claim, we observed a total of three of the 234 stars with the Automated Planet Finder Telescope and Levy Spectrometer including all stars brighter than a visual magnitude of 14. Fourier analysis of the resultant spectra of these three sources does not reveal any periodic spectral modulations at the reported period, nor at any other period.

Howard Isaacson, Andrew P. V. Siemion, Geoffrey W. Marcy, Jack Hickish, Danny C. Price, J. Emilio Enriquez, Nectaria Gizani
(Submitted on 5 Dec 2018)

Comments: 8 pages, 5 figures
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
DOI: 10.1088/1538-3873/aaeae0
Cite as: arXiv:1812.02258 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:1812.02258v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)
Submission history
From: Howard Isaacson
[v1] Wed, 5 Dec 2018 22:32:03 UTC (91 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1812.02258
Astrobiology, SETI

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.