The Seek for Extraterrestrial Intelligence: SETI

SETI stands for the Seek for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Kindly note that the word ‘radio’ seems nowhere in that phrase, yet searching for synthetic radio transmissions from extraterrestrial civilizations seems to be near synonymous with SETI, as bolstered via the popular film “Contact” (primarily based on Carl Kruse SETI Profile Sagan’s novel). Now there is nothing unsuitable with radio SETI. The search for radio waves has been properly thought out and would appear to supply up the utmost chance for success. However, there are more methods to skin the SETI cat (as it were), and after forty nine years of searching primarily via radio, I counsel that some more methods be adopted and explored. Any a part of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is suitable and up for investigation, akin to optical SETI (on the lookout for laser beams) or infrared SETI (searching for Dyson Spheres) or just on the lookout for alien artifacts (as in the novel/film “2001: A House Odyssey”). From that, we note that one can approach the research of UFOs and/or ancient astronauts as representing a type of SETI. Whatever investigation tells you that extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) exists, or as soon as existed, or doesn’t exist in any respect (and a negative result’s as important as a optimistic one) is SETI.

Why do SETI in any respect? That is an apparent first question. Fortunately, there are many good solutions to that question. There’s pure scientific curiosity for starters – exploring just for the sake of exploring. Then there’s the more philosophical strategy in that SETI helps to better determine our place within the cosmos. A negative answer is just as necessary as a positive reply in figuring out whether or not humanity is exclusive, top of the heap, one of many nice unwashed cosmic crowd, or the new boy on the block. SETI has a practical side too in figuring out the existence of potential neighbors which might be sources of benefit and/or threats to us. Obviously, a select few scientists, SETI enthusiasts, have lengthy felt that SETI was, and is, price doing. Radio SETI is (as of this writing), a fairly mature science now 49 years old.

Now if seven is a lucky number, then seven instances seven needs to be even luckier, yet, some 49 years after the first radio SETI experiment (Project Ozma) was performed by Dr. Frank D. Drake, there’s be no luck in detecting any sign of another technological extraterrestrial civilization (49 years as I write this – it’s even longer now). What does this counsel to us as a life form with an advanced technological civilization? The place are our ‘kin’ out there among the many stars?

Firstly, it means that radio SETI isn’t going to be fairly as simple as first envisioned. The number-crunching back in those early days prompt that ETI with a suitable detectable know-how (radio emissions or fairly transmissions) would be pretty common. Though only a relative few of those haystack stalks have been sifted for that needle, it’s changing into clearer that type of SETI is not going to be straightforward; N (the number of technologically radio speaking ETI within the cosmos) isn’t going to be an extremely giant number. So, some constraints on the SETI concept and logic have come residence to roost.

In terms of the search thus far, it’s clear (to me anyway) that there aren’t any Type III civilizations (able to harness the energy output of a whole galaxy) in any galaxy even remotely ‘close’ (in cosmic phrases) to us. If there have been any Type 2 civilizations (capability to command the energy output of a whole star) practically in our personal galaxy it ought to have proved fairly obvious by now. There have been after all many false alarms, but also a number of cases that seemed like a constructive signal was received. Alas, all have been one-offs and have never been picked up again. Without verification, those ‘wow’ signals stay enigmas, but not proof optimistic of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI).

Firstly, my clarification as to why we have not detected ETI through radio-SETI 49 years on. I consider it unlikely within the extreme that any ETI would deliberately target our parent star and solar system. We’re just too average. There’s no compelling reason to focus on Sol versus hundreds of thousands of other stars. Even if they did, what are the chances that their concentrating on us would just happen to coincide with our evolving the requited expertise to detect similar? What if we have been focused, however hundreds, maybe millions of years ago? ETI gave up the ghost and focused elsewhere!