Why is it important: Since 2007, The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) has provided researchers with the ability to collect astronomical data and look for signs of extraterrestrial life. Earlier this year, the array recorded 15 minutes of data from Voyager 1, a space probe launched in 1977 to explore the furthest corners of our solar system and beyond. The detection marks the successful detection and communication of the observatory with the furthest ground object in space.
No specific information was provided about the data of the signal, which is transmitted back at 160 bits per second using the NASA Deep Space Network (DSN). The probe is currently 14.5 billion miles from Earth and is now tasked with taking measurements beyond the heliosphere. Although the probe’s intended useful life has long since expired, it will continue its extended mission in interstellar space until its fuel supply is depleted. The researchers estimate that the probe will last until around 2025.
The probe is still returning data from interstellar space at 160 bits per second.
Currently operated by Menlo Park’s NII InternationalATA was originally developed by the Search for Extraterrestrial Life (SETI) UC Berkeley Institute and Radio Astronomy Laboratory (RAL). The facility was initially supported by over $30 million in donations from former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Later, Qualcomm co-founder and chief scientist Franklin Antonio provided additional funding, paving the way for the array to be completed.
The facility, located at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, consists of 42 individual radio antennas with a diameter of 6 meters. This high number, small diameter approach allows an object to cover the same collection area as a traditional large dish antenna at a lower cost, albeit with less sensitivity.
Researchers make up for this lack of sensitivity by combining the signals collected by several smaller telescopes. The Voyager 1 signal was detected using 20 of the array’s 42 available antennas.
Launched in 1977 to collect and transmit data from deep space, the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes were the centerpiece of NASA’s exploration. Voyager program. The probes have explored some of the largest planets in our solar system and have successfully circled Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, as well as a total of 48 different moons.
Each of the probes was equipped golden record designed to transmit information about our planet to any aliens who are “lucky enough” to find them. Content includes 115 Pictures recorded in analog form, sounds nature and our civilization, music and greetings in 55 different spoken languages.
But what happens if an alien traveler leaves home without his trusty record player? Don’t worry, the cover of the record contains information intended to tell you how the record can be played and how the information was encoded based on binary numbers.