Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hunt for ET continues

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has not been in the news for a while, but it hasn't gone away. Some scientists and engineers remains captivated by, and dedicated to, the project despite tiny budgets and the lingering "giggle factor."

A new proposal is to use the Allen Telescope Array, with is hundreds of small advanced dishes, to search the plane of the ecliptic: the plane made by Earth and the Sun. Why? because advanced civilizations in this plane could observe Earth transiting the Sun, and thus are more likely to know there is a planet potentially capable of sustaining life in our solar system. They might, the logic goes, be sending radio signals to see if we on Earth are advanced enough to detect them and reply. Richard Conn Henry of Johns Hopkins, Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute, and Steven Kilston of the Henry Foundation Inc. are working out the notion.

COMMENT: Human ingenuity and logic will never lose their place in science. If the universe is too big for a practical search, the three astronomers behind this concept reason, then let's look in the places most likely to be looking for us. Here's wishing you the best of luck, guys.

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