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  1. Abstract

    Discovered in 2011 with LOFAR, the 15 Jy low-frequency radio transient ILT J225347+862146 heralds a potentially prolific population of radio transients at <100 MHz. However, subsequent transient searches in similar parameter space yielded no detections. We test the hypothesis that these surveys at comparable sensitivity have missed the population due to mismatched survey parameters. In particular, the LOFAR survey used only 195 kHz of bandwidth at 60 MHz, while other surveys were at higher frequencies or had wider bandwidth. Using 137 hr of all-sky images from the Owens Valley Radio Observatory Long Wavelength Array, we conduct a narrowband transient search at ∼10 Jy sensitivity with timescales from 10 minutes to 1 day and a bandwidth of 722 kHz at 60 MHz. To model the remaining survey selection effects, we introduce a flexible Bayesian approach for inferring transient rates. We do not detect any transient and find compelling evidence that our nondetection is inconsistent with the detection of ILT J225347+862146. Under the assumption that the transient is astrophysical, we propose two hypotheses that may explain our nondetection. First, the transient population associated with ILT J225347+862146 may have a low all-sky density and display strong temporal clustering. Second, ILT J225347+862146 maymore »be an extreme instance of the fluence distribution, of which we revise the surface density estimate at 15 Jy to 1.1 × 10−7deg−2with a 95% credible interval of (3.5 × 10−12, 3.4 × 10−7) deg−2. Finally, we find a previously identified object coincident with ILT J225347+862146 to be an M dwarf at 420 pc.

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  2. Abstract

    The Breakthrough Listen (BL) Initiative, as part of its larger mission, is performing the most thorough technosignature search of nearby stars. Additionally, BL is collaborating with scientists working on NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to examine TESS Targets of Interest (TOIs) for technosignatures. Here, we present a 1–11 GHz radio technosignature search of 61 TESS TOIs that were in transit during their BL observation at the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. We performed a narrowband Doppler drift search with a minimum S/N threshold of 10 across a drift rate range of ±4 Hz s−1with a resolution of 3 Hz. We removed radio frequency interference by comparing signals across cadences of target sources. After interference removal, there are no remaining events in our survey, and therefore no technosignature signals of interest detected in this work. This null result implies that atL,S,C, andXbands, fewer than 52%, 20%, 16%, and 15%, respectively, of TESS TOIs possess a transmitter with an equivalent isotropic radiated power greater than a few times 1014W.

  3. Abstract The aim of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is to find technologically capable life beyond Earth through their technosignatures. On 2019 April 29, the Breakthrough Listen SETI project observed Proxima Centauri with the Parkes ‘Murriyang’ radio telescope. These data contained a narrowband signal with characteristics broadly consistent with a technosignature near 982 MHz (‘blc1’). Here we present a procedure for the analysis of potential technosignatures, in the context of the ubiquity of human-generated radio interference, which we apply to blc1. Using this procedure, we find that blc1 is not an extraterrestrial technosignature, but rather an electronically drifting intermodulation product of local, time-varying interferers aligned with the observing cadence. We find dozens of instances of radio interference with similar morphologies to blc1 at frequencies harmonically related to common clock oscillators. These complex intermodulation products highlight the necessity for detailed follow-up of any signal of interest using a procedure such as the one outlined in this work.
  4. Abstract

    The detection of life beyond Earth is an ongoing scientific pursuit, with profound implications. One approach, known as the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), seeks to find engineered signals (‘technosignatures’) that indicate the existence of technologically capable life beyond Earth. Here, we report on the detection of a narrowband signal of interest at ~982 MHz, recorded during observations towards Proxima Centauri with the Parkes Murriyang radio telescope. This signal, BLC1, has characteristics broadly consistent with hypothesized technosignatures and is one of the most compelling candidates to date. Analysis of BLC1—which we ultimately attribute to being an unusual but locally generated form of interference—is provided in a companion paper. Nevertheless, our observations of Proxima Centauri are a particularly sensitive search for radio technosignatures towards a stellar target.