| Breakthrough Listen Program Launched in an Unprecedented Effort to Find Aliens
Breakthrough Listen is a program designed to comb the stars for evidence of alien life across the Milky Way and beyond. The program began in January of 2016 and is now gearing up for a new phase of work — a huge survey of the plane of our galaxy, with millions of stars surveyed over the next two months. The Parkes Observatory in Australia is set to scan for stars in a much broader target area than the initial investigations carried out by the Breakthrough Listen team. The Parkes Observatory's 64m radio telescope has been in operation for decades, and was used by NASA to maintain contact with the Apollo 11 landing and served as the signal source for most of the initial moon landing broadcast. It remains the second-largest movable dish telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and was one of the first movable dishes ever constructed. Initially, scans targeted stars relatively close to Earth. The expanded sweep of the scan is made possible by upgrades at the Parkes Observatory. New digital