Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

This Guy Is About To Spend £64m On A Quest To Find Aliens

GettyImages-164169015.jpg

Perhaps it’s because The X-Files is making a comeback, or because Virgin Galactic isn’t taking off anytime soon, but a Russian billionaire announced today that he is going to fund the "biggest ever" attempt to find extraterrestrial civilisations.

Named after Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet astronaut who really won the space race, Yuri Milner isn't some E.T. fan with a deep pocket. He's backed by Professor Stephen Hawking. Together, their aim is to examine the stars closest to Earth (one million of them), and look further into the centre of the Milky Way in the hope of finding intelligent neighbours.

A former scientist, Milner is worth £1.2billion, with early stakes in Facebook, Twitter and most other apps you use on a daily basis (WhatsApp and Spotify included). His funding of £64million is set to bring “the Silicon Valley approach to the search for intelligent life in the Universe”. What's more, his approach to data will be "open and taking advantage of the problem-solving power of social networks.” 

The project, known as Breakthrough Listen (who we could have sworn came second in an X-Factor series), will spend two thirds of the investment in equipment (100 times faster than any current equipment) and hiring astronomers to cover data processing and to look for radio signals in distant solar systems.

The rest of the money will be used to rent out two of the world’s most powerful telescopes, the Green Bank Telescope in Virginia and the Parkes Telescope in Australia, to cover a patch of space 10 times bigger than any other search. Over ten years, the telescopes will be zooming in on areas with a resolution 50 times greater than anything ever used before.

And you thought we’d made progress with HD Netflix. 

Related

race2.jpg

Racing a mountain bike down a glacier is total carnage

milleniumfalcon2000.jpg

The Fastest Spaceships in Sci-Fi & Pop Culture: Ranked

sharkmitch.jpg

Who won the internet this weekend: shark man or Mitchell Johnson?

ufo.PNG

Does This Video Prove That Aliens Have Been Visiting Earth

shenfieldadvert2.jpg

How many errors can you spot on this advert?

halo.jpg

The best gaming apps for 'serious' gamers

Comments

More

Donald Trump's mate "Jim" says we can't go to Paris anymore

Sounds like a reliable source

by Alex Finnis
24 Feb 2017

Bradley Lowery is going to be England mascot

Fantastic news for the young Sunderland fan

by Matt Tate
24 Feb 2017

Straight men are officially the worst people in the world at sex

But don't worry, apparently there's a way to fix it

by Alex Finnis
24 Feb 2017

A trampoline park with laser tag and a mega slide is coming to London

For those who want to OD on activities

by Emily Badiozzaman
24 Feb 2017

Walking Dead actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan has his say on Primark t-shirt

Shirt happens

by Emily Badiozzaman
24 Feb 2017

This good rescue doggo was reunited with his good doggo siblings

More of this please, 2017

by Alex Finnis
24 Feb 2017

Waitrose is selling Easter trees and people want to burn them

"Taking the piss now"

by Emily Badiozzaman
24 Feb 2017

Doris, and why we name storms

They all have names, and we decided on them

by Matt Tate
23 Feb 2017

A Swedish politician reckons we should all be paid to fuck during work

Ooooooh, afternoon delight

by Alex Finnis
23 Feb 2017

Teens that drink and smoke weed are smarter, says study

Less Bill and Ted, more McLovin

by Emily Badiozzaman
23 Feb 2017