For the past year many of the world's most advanced telescopes have been pointed at Tabby's Star in hopes of finding extraterrestrial life.
"It's been looked at with Hubble, it's been looked at with Keck, it's been looked at in the infrared and radio and high energy, and every possible thing you can imagine, including a whole range of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) experiments," says Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center. "Nothing has been found."
But a team of scientists aren't giving up. Siemion is headed to Green Bank Observatory in rural West Virginia, along with Jason Wright, a UC Berkeley visiting astronomer, and Tabetha Boyajian, the assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University for whom the star is named. There they will aim yet another powerful instrument at the star for eight hours tonight.
"The Green Bank Telescope is the largest fully steerable radio telescope on the planet, and it's the largest, most sensitive telescope that's capable of looking at Tabby's Star given its position in the sky," says Siemion. "The implications of detecting an advanced technology on another world is -- in my opinion -- the most amazing discovery that could be made in all of human inquiry."