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SETI is seeking ET around red dwarf stars

Posted on Tuesday, 5 April, 2016 | Comment icon 25 comments

The hunt for extraterrestrial life continues. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill
The SETI Institute is aiming to find evidence of aliens in a place where nobody had thought to look.
Red dwarf stars are much smaller and cooler than our sun, properties that at first glance might seem to rule them out as promising places to look for planets capable of supporting alien life.

"Red dwarfs - the dim bulbs of the cosmos - have received scant attention by SETI scientists in the past," said SETI's Jon Richards. "That's because researchers made the seemingly reasonable assumption that other intelligent species would be on planets orbiting stars similar to the Sun."

More recently however it has been determined that planets orbiting close to a red dwarf star, which are thought to be tidally locked, could potentially support habitable conditions if heat from the hot, star-facing side were to be transferred to the cold, outside-facing side.

Now in light of this possibility, SETI is undertaking a new two-year study of 20,000 red dwarf stars using the Allen Telescope Array which is situated in northern California's Cascade Mountains.

"Three-fourths of all stars are red dwarfs," said SETI's Seth Shostak. "That means if you observe a finite set of them - say the nearest twenty thousand - then on average they will be at only half the distance of the nearest twenty thousand Sun-like stars."

Whether the team will actually find anything during their search however remains to be seen.

Source: Independent | Comments (25)

Tags: SETI, Red Dwarf

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Kurzweil on 7 April, 2016, 19:29
Often wonder if the carpet matches the curtains with red headed dwarfs. Errr at least I hope that's what we're talking about here.
Comment icon #17 Posted by JesseCuster on 7 April, 2016, 19:30
I know this answer but someone who has the lingo and time please reiterate the simple reason why we aren't hearing ETs like we thought we would have by now? Of course the main reason being that the universe and galaxies and stars within are all moving at the speed of light proportionally from one another...therefore a radio signal would never "catch" up to a receiver that's listening for one. Please explain SETI folks....... If what you said was true and the galaxies and stars were all moving at the speed of light proportionally to each other and thus a radio signal would never catch up to a r... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by White Unicorn on 8 April, 2016, 15:32
I read about this a while back. Supposedly the Red Dwarfs still put out enough energy to have a Goldilocks Zone. And with Red Dwarfs being the most common type of star, and with planets perhaps around every single star. Then this means they are excellent targets to check for signs of technology. From November of last year... I read about the increased possibility of life around red dwarfs being a likely place of intelligence because they also would have much longer evolutionary periods without more frequent destructive periods like other types of... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by kartikg on 8 April, 2016, 18:43
Is it the only place left for seti to search?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Sweetpumper on 8 April, 2016, 20:58
Is it the only place left for seti to search? Well, their method makes about as much sense as smoke signals, so, probably.
Comment icon #21 Posted by DieChecker on 9 April, 2016, 3:51
Is it the only place left for seti to search? Well estimates are that there is roughly 100 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy (our galaxy). And if we were to try to check all of those stars one at a time, with only one second per star, that would take 3100 years. I think perhaps they spend quite a lot of time on each star, though I don't know how long exactly... minutes, hours? But certainly it is more then a single second. And they've only been checking Sun type stars to date, not giants or dwarfs. So, no, they haven't run out of places to check. They're just trying to figure out the most ... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by JesseCuster on 10 April, 2016, 9:54
Well, their method makes about as much sense as smoke signals, so, probably. Whose method?
Comment icon #23 Posted by CJ1983 on 22 April, 2016, 18:00
I run SETI on my computer when I'm not using it. I even bought this years T-shirt. Anyway, I'd recommend anyone else who wants to help, go ahead and run SETI/BOINC as well.
Comment icon #24 Posted by badeskov on 22 April, 2016, 18:21
I run SETI on my computer when I'm not using it. I even bought this years T-shirt. Anyway, I'd recommend anyone else who wants to help, go ahead and run SETI/BOINC as well. I used to run the BOINC app, but it tended to interfere with some of the other technical programs I was using for work :- so I gave up -( Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #25 Posted by cachibatches. on 12 August, 2016, 10:22
Kryton They've taken Mr Rimmer! Sir they've taken Mr. Rimmer! Cat Let's get out of here before they bring him back!

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