The discovery of an ever-growing number of potentially habitable exoplanets brings an extra spiciness to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. For the first time, astronomers can direct the search towards these likely planets rather than aiming in hope towards the stars.
Today, Jill Tarter, from the SETI Institute and of Contact fame, along with a group of buddies, reveal the results of their first directed search, carried out between February and April 2011.
These guys pointed the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia at 86 stars hosting exoplanets discovered by the Kepler space telescope. They chose their targets because they had exoplanets in the Goldilocks zone, had five or more exoplanets or had super Earths with relatively long orbits.