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Scientists seek heat from alien civilizations


Posted on Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 | Comment icon 14 comments

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A new project is hoping to use heat detection to pick up signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
Up until now the search for alien civilizations has focused mainly on the detection of extraterrestrial communications using radio telescopes, but with efforts to date yielding little in the way of results astronomers have been turning instead to a new technique that focuses on looking for heat rather than radio signals.

The G-HAT ( Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies ) method doesn't even require an alien species to be communicating.

"This approach is very different," said SETI's Franck Marchis. "I like it because it doesn't put any constraints on the origin of the civilisation or their willingness to communicate."

The technique involves looking through the catalogue of images taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope to look for galaxies that appear to be emitting more than ten percent of their light in the mid-infrared range.

While several candidates have already been discovered, determining the origins of the infra-red light is as much of a challenge as finding it in the first place.

"Distinguishing that waste heat from ordinary astrophysical dust will be very difficult in many cases, and proving it's of alien origin will be even harder," said team leader Jason Wright.

Source: New Scientist | Comments (14)

Tags: SETI, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by taniwha on 20 August, 2014, 17:53
I suppose if aliens are hot enough they would glow like stars anyway.
Comment icon #6 Posted by shrooma on 20 August, 2014, 19:56
QUOTE- "Distinguishing that waste heat from ordinary astrophysical dust will be very difficult in many cases, and proving it's of alien origin will be even harder," . OR, if these "scientists" want to use their money wisely.., i have a bridge they can buy. going cheap..... .
Comment icon #7 Posted by calaf on 20 August, 2014, 23:27
"Aliens in Heat!" Can't wait for the movie.
Comment icon #8 Posted by shrooma on 21 August, 2014, 8:00
"Aliens in Heat!" Can't wait for the movie. . kinda sounds like "Species" doesn't it..... .
Comment icon #9 Posted by Silent Trinity on 21 August, 2014, 10:27
Ah I understand now I have read the article, I thought for a moment they were going to look for a high density and grouping of 3 bar electric fires on other worlds to see if the aliens are battening down the hatches for their winter lol Seriously though, that is some amazing science, never ceases to fascinate me how much we can learn about other worlds without even travelling anywhere!
Comment icon #10 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 22 August, 2014, 14:14
So, what happens if these alien civilizations happen to be cold blooded? Heat signatures are much harder to detect.
Comment icon #11 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 15 September, 2014, 20:10
Here is hoping someone leaf the oven on
Comment icon #12 Posted by DONTEATUS on 15 September, 2014, 20:18
They can eat us Hot, eat us cold, eat us for Dinner, or breakfast too ! Aliens Like Humans even in a stew !Now the question will be What are we going to do If we find Aliens someday on a ocean planet that look like lobster and Tuna. Will we fish them up until theres all eatten too ? This will be that road we shall cross in the far future If we dont eat everything here first ! Save your water !
Comment icon #13 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 15 September, 2014, 20:31
Will they expand the search to find Alien Esquire or Penthouse?
Comment icon #14 Posted by DONTEATUS on 15 September, 2014, 22:41
MAybe we should be Looking for the "KOOL " ?


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