SETI & Technosignatures

An Interferometric SETI Observation Of Kepler-111 b

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
May 3, 2023
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An Interferometric SETI Observation Of Kepler-111 b
The location of VLBA primary calibrators (green dots) and the secondary targets (blue dots) overplotted on exoplanet detections in the Kepler field. J1926+4441 is shown in red. — astro-ph.IM

The application of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has been limited to date, despite the technique offering many advantages over traditional single-dish SETI observations.

In order to further develop interferometry for SETI, we used the European VLBI Network (EVN) at 21~cm to observe potential secondary phase calibrators in the Kepler field. Unfortunately, no secondary calibrators were detected. However, a VLBA primary calibrator in the field, J1926+4441, offset only ∼1.88′ from a nearby exoplanet Kepler-111~b, was correlated with high temporal (0.25 s) and spectral (16384×488 Hz channels) resolution. During the analysis of the high-resolution data, we identified a spectral feature that was present in both the auto and cross-correlation data with a central frequency of 1420.424±0.0002 MHz and a width of 0.25 MHz.

We demonstrate that the feature in the cross-correlations is an artefact in the data, associated with a significant increase in each telescope’s noise figure due to the presence of \ion{H}{i} in the beam. This would typically go unnoticed in data correlated with standard spectral resolution.

We flag (excluded from the subsequent analysis) these channels and phase rotate the data to the location of Kepler-111~b aided by the GAIA catalogue and search for signals with SNR>7. At the time of our observations, we detect no transmitters with an Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) > ∼4×1015 W.

Kelvin Wandia

Comments: 11 pages, 12 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2305.02262 [astro-ph.GA] (or arXiv:2305.02262v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)
Submission history
From: Kelvin Wandia
[v1] Wed, 3 May 2023 16:48:46 UTC (1,758 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) 🖖🏻