Product Idea

Breakthrough Listen

Background:

Breakthrough Listen is a ten-year $100 million initiative by Russian tycoon Yuri Milner to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in the Universe. It has been described as the most comprehensive search for alien communications to date. The project plans to search the closest one million stars to Earth, and also scan the center of the galaxy and the galactic plane. It will also search the nearest hundred galaxies. Breakthrough Listen will generate as much data in one day as previous SETI projects generated in one year.

Breakthrough Listen was announced to the public on 20 July 2015 (the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing) by Milner at London's Royal Society. The event was flanked by scientists such as Frank Drake, who is known for the Drake equation that estimates the number of detectable alien civilizations, Astronomer Royal - Martin Rees and Geoff Marcy, an astronomer who has helped find hundreds of exoplanets.The announcement included an open letter co-signed by multiple scientists, including physicist Stephen Hawking, expressing support for an intensified search for alien life. During the public launch, Hawking said:

"In an infinite Universe, there must be other life. There is no bigger question. It is time to commit to finding the answer."

The project will be allocated to the Green Bank Telescope and to the Parkes Telescope in Australia from October 2016 for a period of five years. Together, the radio telescopes will cover ten times more sky than previous searches. In addition to the search for radio waves, the Automated Planet Finder of Lick Observatory will search for optical signals coming from laser transmissions.

The Set:

This set includes three microscale buildings on presentation platforms with name plates, and three minifigures.

Buildings:

  • Green Bank Telescope (109 bricks)
  • Parkes Telescope (59 bricks)
  • Lick Observatory (123 bricks)

Minifigures:

  • Stephen Hawking (wheelchair: 47 bricks)
  • Frank Drake
  • Martin Rees

Total Part Count:  350

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