Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Exploring alien civilizations

Is there intelligent life on other planets? If so, what do space aliens watch on TV?

Astronomers plan to search 1 000 nearby stars for television broadcasts and other signals that could indicate extraterrestrial life, the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics said today.
The project, planned for early 2008, would use a new radio telescope to search for radio traffic similar to that found on Earth.

Current efforts to find extraterrestrial life look for messages deliberately beamed across space - an approach that would miss any civilisation that does not advertise its existence as Earth's does.

The new effort would search a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum used on Earth for more mundane purposes - radar, television and FM radio broadcasts.
"We may pick up spurious signals from people that never meant for us to hear them and get an inkling that something's going on," said David Aguilar, director of communications at the centre.
The project will be able to detect Earth-like radio signals within a distance of 30 light-years, which encompasses about 1 000 stars.
The project will be formally presented at a conference of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle on Wednesday.

- Reuters

1 comment:

  1. Some interesting points here. I've documented a number of articles about similar topics at mty blog site, Alien Life (http://alienlifeblog.blogspot.com).