SETI & Technosignatures

Searching The SETI Ellipsoid With Gaia

By Keith Cowing
June 9, 2022
Filed under
Searching The SETI Ellipsoid With Gaia
Schematic diagram of the SETI Ellipsoid framework. A civilization (black dot) could synchronize a technosignature beacon with a noteworthy source event (green dot). The arrival time of these coordinated signals is defined by the time-evolving ellipsoid, whose foci are Earth and the source event. Stars outside the Ellipsoid may have transmitted signals in coordination with their observation of the source event, but we those signals have not reached Earth yet (blue dot). For stars far inside the Ellipsoid (pink dot), we have missed the opportunity to receive such coordinated signals

The SETI Ellipsoid is a geometric method for prioritizing technosignature observations based on the strategy of receiving signals synchronized to conspicuous astronomical events.

Precise distances to nearby stars from Gaia makes constraining Ellipsoid crossing times possible. Here we explore the utility of using the Gaia Catalog of Nearby Stars to select targets on the SN 1987A SETI Ellipsoid, as well the Ellipsoids defined by 278 classical novae. Less than 8% of stars within the 100 pc sample are inside the SN 1987A SETI Ellipsoid, meaning the vast majority of nearby stars are still viable targets for monitoring over time.

We find an average of 734 stars per year within the 100 pc volume will intersect the Ellipsoid from SN 1987A, with ~10% of those having distance uncertainties from Gaia better than 0.1 lyr.

James R. A. Davenport, Barbara Cabrales, Sofia Sheikh, Steve Croft, Andrew P. V. Siemion, Daniel Giles, Ann Marie Cody

Comments: 11 pages, 7 figures, Submitted to the AAS Journals
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2206.04092 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2206.04092v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: James RA Davenport
[v1] Wed, 8 Jun 2022 18:00:57 UTC (3,533 KB)

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) 🖖🏻