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SETI develops new alien-hunting instrument

Posted on Tuesday, 18 July, 2017 | Comment icon 23 comments

Are extraterrestrials sending laser pulses in our direction ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Hajor
Scientists have come up with a way to scan the skies for pulses of light from an alien civilization.
The SETI Institute ( Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence ) has been attempting to determine whether or not we are alone in the universe for more than 30 years now, but sadly, despite its best efforts, it has yet to find any evidence to suggest that there is anyone else out there.

One of the reasons for this, scientists say, could be that we are looking out for the wrong thing.

What if a sufficiently advanced alien civilization, having spotted our planet through their telescopes, were 'pinging' us with short pulses of laser light in an effort to get our attention ?

Conventional telescopes are unable to pick up such pulses, meaning we would never see them.

Now in an effort to account for such a possibility, SETI has come up with a new type of instrument specifically designed to scan the heavens for short pulses of light.

Known as "Laser SETI", the project is currently under development and is seeking supporters.

Source: SETI.org | Comments (23)

Tags: SETI, Extraterrestrial

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by toast on 31 July, 2017, 15:56
Thats incorrect because nobody assumed that other civilizations would have turntables. There are some very logical reasons discs were unsed. The discs have a nearly 100% resistance against radiation, are waterproof and are resistant (up to a certain but very high level) of vibration. There is no other data storage medium thats such stabile in keeping the data over a very long period of time. In addition, the disc medium has been choosen because it could be read out even by technicans who are at the same stage of technology as humans in at least the 19th century and I would say that even Leonad... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Ryu on 31 July, 2017, 16:06
I realize that. I was just trying to say that the discs were, basically, vinyl records (gold plated ones too) and from what I recall, the inions showed how the discs could be played which is fine except that it is assumed that a "low tech" civilization even has turn-tables -which is how many aspects of those records are designed to be played. I understand your point but I am simply saying that it is a leap in assumption to think other civilizations developed their technology along the same line as ours has. They may not even understand the glyphs used for playback directions.
Comment icon #16 Posted by bison on 31 July, 2017, 16:57
 We aren't currently able to receive messages by some better method than electromagnetism-- that includes both radio and laser beams. All we can do is our best, which is far better than not trying at all. Some civilizations, not too far in advance of our knowledge, may be willing to accommodate us, and send something we can receive. It  doesn't seem too much to expect that the means of playing back the Voyager disks could be understood by a more advanced civilization, at least ones with mentalities enough like our own to make mutual understanding possible, under any circumstances. I found the ... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Hammerclaw on 31 July, 2017, 17:13
It is also possible that signs of alien civilization are so vast they have escaped detection, being ascribed to natural phenomena.
Comment icon #18 Posted by toast on 31 July, 2017, 17:16
But we had, and still have, only one working matrix available to form an assumption and we acted based on this single matrix.
Comment icon #19 Posted by badeskov on 31 July, 2017, 18:11
Could very well be, for sure. But we can really only look for what we would recognize as intelligent signals. It is a tough one. Cheers, Badeskov
Comment icon #20 Posted by Hammerclaw on 31 July, 2017, 18:21
Yes, but we may very well be like a hypothetical tribe of primitives looking for intelligible smoke signals from New York City.
Comment icon #21 Posted by seeder on 1 August, 2017, 19:40
Lets not forget the Voyager probes, BILLIONS of miles away and yet we still get their signals   How Much Longer Will We Talk to the Voyagers? The little probes that could are about to leave the solar system, and even after 35 years in space, Voyagers 1 and 2 can still communicate with the home planet. As they careen deeper into interstellar space, however, this will only grow more difficult. Since its 1977 launch, the Voyager 1 probe has passed gas-giant planets, beamed back the famous Pale Blue Dot picture of Earth from afar, and is now passing through the limits of the solar wind's reach. It... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by UFOwatcher on 3 August, 2017, 14:44
Looking (where)? Short pulse (ping) of laser light does not sound likely. We will see.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Frank_Hoenedge on 5 August, 2017, 16:06
As far as I know, there hasn't been any attempt to align photons within a packet to transmit a coded message in a single packet. Anyone heard of a code using this method? or know a way to decode such a 'message'? that window of opportunity is mighty small.

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