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SETI to hunt for alien 'technosignatures'

By T.K. Randall
February 16, 2020 · Comment icon 11 comments

Orbiting 'megastructures' would be a prime indicator of alien life. Image Credit: NASA / Rick Guidice
SETI is ramping up its search for intelligent alien life by sniffing out indicators of extraterrestrial technology.
Founded in Mountain View, California back on November 20th, 1984, the SETI Institute has made it its mission to systematically scan the skies for evidence that we are not alone in the universe.

This latest endeavour, which will use data from the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico, plans to search for the telltale signatures of alien technology on other worlds.

Such 'technosignatures' could include certain combinations of chemicals in a planet's atmosphere or signs of large structures either on the surface or in orbit.

"Determining whether we are alone in the universe as technologically capable life is among the most compelling questions in science," said Dr Tony Beasley, director of Virginia's NRAO telescope.
"As the VLA conducts its usual scientific observations, this new system will allow for an additional and important use for the data we're already collecting."

In addition to this, computer-generated simulated environments are being developed to help support future searches and all the data collected will be made available to the public as well.

"Upcoming telescopes in space and on the ground will have the capability to observe the atmospheres of Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby cool stars, so it's important to understand how best to recognise signs of habitability and life on these planets," said NASA's Victoria Meadows.

"These computer models will help us determine whether an observed planet is more or less likely to support life."

Source: Independent | Comments (11)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by L.A.T.1961 3 years ago
Similar story here - "Dr Anthony Beasley told the BBC that there should be greater government support for a field that has been shunned by government research funders for decades. His backing for the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (Seti) marks a sea change in attitudes to a field regarded until recently as fringe science. Dr Beasley made his comments at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Seattle."
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 3 years ago
Rendezvous With Rama cover art. Nice. I still don't think we'll find anything though. We've only been looking for (and sending out) signals for less than a century...Maybe in another 1000 years we'll know about intelligent life. If we're still here. The galaxy is really, really big. So is the universe. And so is time. All of that lining up in our measly little lifetimes would be like winning the lotto 20 times in a row while being struck by lightening and running into all of our past dates/girlfriends/boyfriendsin a coffee shopall at the same time. I do think there's a chance in the next few... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by stevewinn 3 years ago
This picture sums it up for me. EXTENT OF HUMAN RADIO BROADCASTS Humans have been broadcasting radio waves into deep space for about a hundred years now, since the days of Marconi. That, of course, means there is an ever-expanding bubble announcing Humanity's presence to anyone listening in the Milky Way. This bubble is astronomically large (literally), and currently spans approximately 200 light years. But how big is this, really, compared to the size of the Galaxy in which we live (which is, itself, just one of countless billions of galaxies in the observable universe)? To answer that... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by toast 3 years ago
True but SETI means: search. Therefore, the 200LY value isnt of relevance to the mission.
Comment icon #6 Posted by MissJatti 3 years ago
Nobody listen to techno... so let's go.........
Comment icon #7 Posted by Dejarma 3 years ago
SETI is a complete waste of time effort & money imo. So let's say SETI finds some kinda signal that is deemed un-natural by the scientific community= then what?
Comment icon #8 Posted by toast 3 years ago
You are free to have your own opinion, of course. As you are not interested in the research why do you waste your time and ask anyway? And as you are not a member of the group, dont expect an answer, at least not from my person because it would be a waste of my time.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Tom1200 3 years ago
So... what exactly have they been looking for up til now? Alien soap operas? The daily shipping forecast forWolf 1061c? 'Thought for the day' fromTRAPPIST-1d? I thought thiswas the whole point of SETI - "sniffing out indicators of extraterrestrial technology" by analysing radio waves. Looking for unexpected patterns in the random flux that might indicate an artificial source? Or have people been hoping an alien civilisation will beamus coded instructions for time travel,a cure for (human) cancers, teleportation and the meaning of life?
Comment icon #10 Posted by Dejarma 3 years ago
you didn't answer the question- you don't have to of course
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hazzard 3 years ago
I would love it if SETI could detect technosignatures and pinpoint the origin, lets say a starsystem a couple of hundred lightyears away. Then what?... Then, not so much i guess. But to know there are others out there would be awesome.

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