Are optical and radio wavelengths the only technology we have in search for extraterrestrial intelligence?
I wonder what NASA scientists will be using in the future to search for E.T. You would think in the future like 50 or 100 years from now, by then there would be more than just optical and radio wavelengths. Also, if we have the technology and can do this, that means there should be other intelligent beings doing the same thing, which means, in the near future, we might find some form of alien communicative device....or maybe not and we ourselves become the aliens by exploring other planets.
- YKhanLv 75 months agoFavorite Answer
Searching for ET is quite different from searching for signs of life. Being an ET would imply intelligent, technological life. Thus it would mean searching for communications signals from them. Communications is mainly done using radio wavelengths, at least for humans. Radio is relatively uncommon in the electromagnetic spectrum coming from natural sources like stars, in fact the Earth outshines the entire rest of the solar system, including the Sun in the radio spectrum. There's a few large natural sources of radio waves, such as neutron stars and fast radio bursts (whatever they are coming from). But generally, if you see a lot of radio coming from somewhere, it's a good chance that it's from an intelligence.
But looking for signs of life, intelligent or not, we can use a lot of different ranges of the spectrum, including radio and optical, but also infrared, UV, etc. And in fact we do use all of these ranges. From the surface of Earth, we can use optical and radio, as these sources aren't absorbed by the atmosphere. And from space, the entire spectrum is the limit.
- TomLv 75 months ago
They will likely be using Quantum Entanglement based systems----More practical for an advanced Spacefaring Civilization anyway.
- Jeffrey KLv 65 months ago
We might try looking for signals using gravity waves or neutrinos. Those are both very hard to detect. But they are good for communication because they pass thru everything without being blocked.
- StarryskyLv 75 months ago
People have been laying out huge letter signs on Greenland ice and the sand of Sahara Desert. They say "CALL US". But melting and wind blowing is making a problem for these efforts.
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- 5 months ago
Scientists don't "search for ET". That is an occupation indulged in by the lunatic fringe, or by those with more money than sense. All in order to feed the media machine which profits by click-baiting the gullible with those breathless "any day now" articles revolving around the imminent detection of space boogiemen.
Scientists are professional people who are paid to gather and analyse data for publication in serious peer reviewed journals, and those journals don't include "Omni" or "ufo weekly".
There is no reason to assume that the future holds any more significantly advanced technology than what we have today. In fact the deteriorating cost/benefit ratio argues against it.
Strangely enough, despite the constant hammering from all those dreadful pop-sci articles you find on the internet, astronomy does not revolve around the quest to find space boogers. Serious astronomy competes these days with idiocy for funding, and unfortunately idiocy seems to gain more of the public's attention. This is something that needs to change before astronomy sinks completely to the status of some inane nouveau-religion.
- Ronald 7Lv 75 months ago
Yes and Seti are doing the best that they can
- 5 months ago
While there are certainly various ways of looking for ET intelligence, it all does boil down to the electromagnetic spectrum... We *see* planets that may be 'Earth-like', and we search radio waves for signs of intelligence - but so far, the EM spectrum is all there is that intelligence can use.
About the only far-off event that we can detect that *isn't* using the electromagnetic spectrum are gravity waves, which show us merging black holes.
- ZirpLv 75 months ago
yes, electromagnetic waves are the only things we know how to modulate
- daniel gLv 75 months ago
SETI uses all the technologies available, the primary radio is Hat creek observatory in northern cascades, one of my old hang outs.
Optical telescopes are on a charter more looking to the existence of habitable planets, this includes HST and Chandra. Other space physics have priority, but time is borrowed investigating possibles.
Like time leased from Hat creek studying black holes and other radio sources.
Not all time is dedicated to intelligent life elsewhere that so far has nothing.
My equipment consists of a rather expensive telescope I use mostly for stargazing/photography and a 1 meter dish for radio in the 3 and 11 Ghz (24 GHz capable)range for 'seeing' what I can't see with optical. X-ray/gamma ray would be wonderful, but not going to find that technology as refuse in a dumpster and very expensive.
90% of my radio astronomy equipment built from old discarded satellite TV and communications equipment and just as fascinating as stargazing with the optical stuff. Often looking at solar flares and flux EMP/CME.
No voices from beyond yet,,but who knows. I am not the only one into this stuff.
So you know,NASA is not into searching for ET. Caltech runs the Hat creek radio observatory, SETI does the work.
- NyxLv 75 months ago
Use spectrographic analysis to find out what's in a planet's atmosphere.
Chemicals such as methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone can be looked at to see if there are seasonal changes.