SETI, Breakthrough Listen, and Cornell University Search for Extraterrestrial Pulses in GBT Data

Image credit Jee Seymour.

Akshay Suresh, a graduate student at Cornell University, spearheads an extraordinary scientific endeavor — a groundbreaking mission to uncover periodic signals emanating from the core of the Milky Way called the Breakthrough Listen Investigation for Periodic Spectral Signals (BLIPSS). Such repetitive patterns could be the key to unlocking the mysteries of extraterrestrial intelligence in our galaxy. Suresh and his co-authors detail the project’s results thus far in a paper accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal, “A 4–8 GHz Galactic Center Search for Periodic Technosignatures.”


Peculiar Fast Radio Burst Provides Clues to Mysterious Origin

The Green Bank Telescope was able to observe the directional changes of waves from FRB20190520B as viewed through the lens of a massive star’s atmosphere. Image credit: NSF/GBO/P.Vosteen.

Residing in the heart of a dwarf galaxy four billion light years away is a mysterious cosmological object producing bursts of energy that only last a few milliseconds. New research about this Fast Radio Burst (FRB) has revealed a rarely seen astronomical environment around its source, where magnetic fields twist, turn, and undulate over time. This is the first detection of a magnetic field reversal observed from an FRB, and the first time this behavior has been observed in another galaxy.


NSF Telescopes Image M87’s Supermassive Black Hole and Massive Jet Together for the First Time

Observations also revealed that the supermassive black hole’s ring is bigger than imagined

Scientists observing the compact radio core of M87 have discovered new details about the galaxy’s supermassive black hole. In this artist’s conception, the black hole’s massive jet is seen rising up from the center of the black hole. The jet was born from energy created by the magnetic fields surrounding the spinning core of the black hole and winds rising up from the black hole’s accretion disk. The observations represent the first time that the jet and the black hole have been imaged together, giving scientists new context into the compact radio core of M87. These observations also revealed that the black hole’s ring is 50% larger than previously believed. Credit: S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Scientists studying the supermassive black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy have revealed the origins of the monster’s powerful jet and imaged the jet and its source together for the first time. What’s more, the observations have revealed that the black hole’s ring is much larger than scientists previously believed. The observations published today in Nature.


Can We Modernize the National Radio Quiet Zone?

A new Request for Information (RFI) has been issued by the National Science Foundation (NSF), taking first steps to develop effective strategies for improving communications in the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ). 

The Green Bank Observatory campus. Photo credit Jay Young.

Balancing Safety & Science in the Radio Quiet Zone

The campus of the Green Bank Observatory, photo credit Jay Young.

How do you make a 911 call in the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ)? For residents of Pocahontas County, one of the largest and most rural areas located in the NRQZ, new radio communications coverage has been introduced for first responders.