In a recent announcement SETI astronomers unveiled two new projects intending to find signals of extraterrestrial intelligence within our Universe.
Since the dawn of mass communication humans have steadily pumped signals of our technological prowess and creative potential throughout the galaxy. In fact, shows like I Love Lucy and Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds radio broadcast have been propagating throughout our galaxy long enough to have reached thousands of stars. And while we’ve been transmitting multi-channel signals for the better part of a century we’ve yet to hear from another form of intelligent life hidden among the stars.
Though it’s likely that it’ll still be quite some time before we hear from any ETs out there the people at the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have launched two new programs to offer humanity a better chance of finding another species that commands advanced technology.
First among its new projects is SETI’s Panchromatic scheme. Using multiple telescopes that will scan through a variety of wavelengths the Panchromatic project will focus its gaze on 30 stars that lay within 16 light years of our Sun. Scanning across a large frequency of bandwidths SETI’s astronomers will search for any signals of intelligence being beamed our way.
For its second project SETI will also use a wide array of telescopes to eavesdrop on any directionless communications that may be travelling between those same 30 stars.
Though SETI astronomers aren’t optimistic that ET intelligence will be located by their new project, they’re undaunted in their search and admit that even no detection is critical for the project. Given the tight parameters that surround this new project, SETI will be able to make definitive classifications about the emergence of technologically advanced life.
While the search for advanced extraterrestrial life is likely to continue indefinitely, even after our first contact, the search has never been more compelling. With the discovery that rocky, warm worlds are more common among the stars than previously thought, things are looking up for the people at SETI. At least now they’re finding better targets to focus their study.