In an unprecedented hunt for alien civilizations astronomers first examined the sky using 28 giant radio telescopes. The project is a collaboration between the Institute of SETI and one of the world’s most powerful radioobservatory Very Large Arrey (VLA) in new Mexico. Access to all data collected by the VLA in real time is an important event for scientists who hunt for extraterrestrial life forms, as well as a sign that this area “has become mainstream”. Moreover, according to BBC News, to search for alien life forms should be treated seriously.
What may be the first contact with an alien civilization?
Science fiction novel “Contact” by the great astronomer and popularizer of science Carl Sagan is most plausible description of what might be our first contact with intelligent life forms. In 1997, “Contact” was filmed, and starring starred jodie foster and Matthew Mcconahey. In the film, the heroine foster, a young radio astronomer, spotted a message from aliens, listening to the sky with the VLA. In reality, all astronomical operations will continue at the VLA, but the data will be duplicated and through a supercomputer that will look for sound signals and other signatures.
As told the publication The Guardian Andrew Siemion, Director of the SETI Institute in Berkeley, the VLA is used to survey the entire sky. According to Tony Beasley, Director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which operates the VLA, a definition of are we alone in the Universe is one of the most important issues of modern science, and our telescopes can play an important role in the quest for the answer.
During the recent conference of the American Association for the advancement of science (AAAS), the SETI researchers unveiled a prototype Panoseti designed for continuous monitoring of large sky areas. In the case that the project will receive funding, Panoseti will consist of two geodesic domes, covered with two-foot lenses, which will give him a giant pair of eyes of insects. The ability to simultaneously monitor huge areas of the sky would make it a unique device for the detection of transient signals such as the outbreak of a far more powerful laser. The number of discovered exoplanets in the habitable zone is sufficiently large and this makes the search for an answer to the question of the existence of intelligent life more realistic.
Other researchers are hunting for a less intelligent species of alien life. Speaking at the same session in AAAS, Victoria meadows, who heads the virtual planetary laboratory, NASA, University of Washington, said about the observations planned using the space telescope James Webb, which will launch next year. The priority of the astronomers today is discovered a few years ago star system Trappist-1. According to computer models, the system Trappist-1 is one of the most promising for the search for planets with an atmosphere and temperatures that would allow liquid water to exist on the surface.