“Are we alone?” is a question all of us have wondered about. The SETI Institute has done more than wonder, listening now for more than 30 years for any radio signals in space for signs of alien intelligence. Radio signals propagate far and wide and any advanced society will have likely communicated with radio signals or might even be transmitting now. Dr. Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute was the inspiration for Ellie Arroway, the plucky scientist who searched the airwaves for alien signals in the 1997 film adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel “Contact.”
Unlike what many believe, and what Hollywood loves to show us, there is no evidence today for the existence of intelligent aliens. Some would argue SETI efforts have come up empty-handed but there are reasons aplenty to believe many alien civilizations are out there given the vastness and age of space, and the laws of chemistry and physics being the same everywhere (we think). The building blocks for life as we know it are found everywhere and the probability of what happened on Earth – the evolution of intelligent life — is likely to have happened in many other places. There’s too much space out there. And so much time has passed. And we have barely done much listening or searching. Furthermore, our tools for the search — computing technologies — are still increasing at geometric rates in line with Moore’s Law, so that the number of radio frequencies researchers can analyze dramatically rises every few years. We may soon finally hear that signal from an alien intelligence, confirming that we are not alone after all.
This optimistic view has been further stoked by the discoveries of the Kepler Mission, which finds the Milky Way filled with many Earth analogues, and our galaxy, with its billions of stars, is one of 100-400 billion other galaxies in the visible universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars and an astoundingly large number of planets.
So the odds of intelligent life out there are high. Positive confirmation of it would be one of the major discoveries of human history.
Carl Kruse Dot Org invites you to join the important work of the SETI Institute (https://seti.org) as it tries to answer the question, “Are We Alone?”
Reach me at carl AT carlkruse DOT org
The Carl Kruse Blog home page is here.
And find me on the SETI website at Carl Kruse SETI Link
Updated Review on Carl Kruse Blog: Carl Kruse SETI post
Gobie Desert Canoe Pro
Love me some SETI Institute. Still using SETI@Home/BOINC hoping one day we do find that elusive signal from out there.
Gotta love the SETI Institute. Cheers, carlkruse.org
I love the work the SETI Institute does. Thanks for stopping by.
Carl Kruse Twitter
Oh and of course please consider supporting the efforts of the SETI Institute. Contrary to popular belief they do not have that much money for their research and only relatively few scientists are engaged in full time work due to budget constraints.
Here’s to them.
I know the Parkes observatory here in Australia has been involved from time to time with SETI research but not sure what their role (if any) is now. It seems like there aren’t that many radio observatories doing SETI research given the enormity and importance of the question of possible intelligent life out there. Oh well. Still cool to see there are still those pursuing the answer.
Carl Kruse (Foursquare)
Hello again Marty! There are less than several dozen full time SETI researchers in the world is my guess, which is astonishing. Many seem interested in the SETI quest, few seem willing to allocate the necessary resources to such a venture. It’s too bad.
Perhaps some day.
Wait a sec. For some reason I thought SETI was a major scientific endeavor around the world.
Carl Kruse - SOBE Arts
Naw, few people and few resources dedicated to SETI research today. Almost all of it in the U.S. and virtually all of it privately funded.
You would think for one of the great questions in human history there would be a bit more interest or love but nope, there it is and here we are.
With the ongoing discovery on exoplanets and especially of Earth analogues there has never been a more exciting time for SETI work. I hope all of you can help in some way.
Just posted – http://carlkruse.org/earth-like-exoplanets-found/
Carl kruse at SETI@HOME
Anyone else using BOINC’s SETI@HOME software?
Stop by and say hello.
Usually I don’t read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced
me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
Thank you, very great post.