A Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) toward the Galactic Anticenter with the Murchison Widefield Array
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Copyright © 2018 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Following the results of the first systematic modern low-frequency search for extraterrestrial intelligence using the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), which was directed toward a Galactic Center field, we report a second survey toward a Galactic Anticenter field. Using the MWA in the frequency range 99-122 MHz over a three-hour period, a 625 deg 2 field centered on Orion KL (in the general direction of the Galactic Anticenter) was observed with a frequency resolution of 10 kHz. Within this field, 22 exoplanets are known. At the positions of these exoplanets, we searched for narrowband signals consistent with radio transmissions from intelligent civilizations. No such signals were found with a 5Ïƒ detection threshold. Our sample is significantly different to the 45 exoplanets previously studied with the MWA toward the Galactic Center, since the Galactic Center sample is dominated by exoplanets detected using microlensing, and hence at much larger distances than the exoplanets toward the Anticenter, found via radial velocity and transit detection methods. Our average effective sensitivity to extraterrestrial transmitter power is therefore much improved for the Anticenter sample. Added to this, our data processing techniques have improved, reducing our observational errors, leading to our best detection limit being reduced by approximately a factor of four compared to our previously published results.
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