SETI & Technosignatures

The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: Searching for Technosignatures in Observations of TESS Targets of Interest

By Keith Cowing
January 27, 2021
Filed under ,
The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life: Searching for Technosignatures in Observations of TESS Targets of Interest
Distribution of BL targets analyzed in this paper, and a subset of existing TIC sources with associated TOI objects in equatorial coordinates. The subset was collected from resources provided by the Exoplanet Follow-up Observing Program for TESS (ExoFOP-TESS). The TESS project uses an all-sky survey approach to find transiting exoplanets.

Exoplanetary systems are prime targets for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). With the recent uptick in the identification of candidate and confirmed exoplanets through the work of missions like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), we are beginning to understand that Earth-like planets are common.

In this work, we extend the Breakthrough Listen (BL) search for extraterrestrial intelligence to include targeted searches of stars identified by TESS as potential exoplanet hosts. We report on 113 30-min cadence observations collected for 28 targets selected from the TESS Input Catalog (TIC) from among those identified as containing signatures of transiting planets.

The targets were searched for narrowband signals from 1-11 GHz using the turboSETI pipeline architecture modified for compatibility with the Google Cloud environment. Data were searched for drift rates of +/-4 Hz/s above a minimum signal-to-noise threshold of 10, following the parameters of previous searches conducted by Price et al. (2020) and Enriquez et al. (2017).

The observations presented in this work establish some of the deepest limits to date over such a wide band (1-11 GHz) for life beyond Earth. We determine that fewer than 12.72% of the observed targets possess transmitters operating at these frequencies with an Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power greater than our derived threshold of 4.9*10^(14) W.

Raffy Traas (1 and 2), Steve Croft (2 and 3), Vishal Gajjar (2), Howard Isaacson (2 and 4), Matt Lebofsky (2), David H. E. MacMahon (2), Karen Perez (5), Danny C. Price (2 and 6), Sofia Sheikh (2 and 7), Andrew P. V. Siemion (2 and 3 and 8 and 9), Shane Smith (10), Jamie Drew (11), S. Pete Worden (11) ((1) University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, (2) UC Berkeley, (3) SETI Institute, (4) University of Southern Queensland, (5) Columbia University, (6) Swinburne University of Technology, (7) Pennsylvania State University, (8) Radboud University, (9) University of Malta, (10) Hillsdale College, (11) Breakthrough Initiatives)

Comments: Submitted to AAS Journals
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2101.11137 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2101.11137v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Raffy Traas
[v1] Tue, 26 Jan 2021 23:59:16 UTC (5,717 KB)
Astrobiology, SETI,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻