My special guest is a researcher who's here to discuss her communication with a man that claims he was an officer in a Secret Space Program that possessed unbelievable technologies.

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Searching for extraterrestrial intelligenceArtifacts in the solar system

Extraterrestrial artifacts have not yet been found. At the beginning of the 20th century, American astronomer Percival Lowell claimed to see artificially constructed canals on Mars. These would have been convincing proof of intelligence, but the features seen by Lowell were in fact optical illusions. Since 1890, some limited telescopic searches for alienobjects near Earth have been made. These investigated the so-called Lagrangian points, stable locations in the Earth-Moon system. No large objects—at least down to several tens of metres in size—were seen.


The most promising scheme for finding extraterrestrial intelligence is to search for electromagnetic signals, more particularly radio or light, that may be beamed toward Earth from other worlds, either inadvertently (in the same way that Earth leaks televisionand radar signals into space) or as a deliberate beacon signal. Physical law implies that interstellar travel requires enormous amounts of energy or long travel times. Sending signals, on the other hand, requires only modest energy expenditure, and the messages travel at the speed of light.


Radio searches

Projects to look for such signals are known as the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The first modern SETI experiment was American astronomer Frank Drake’s Project Ozma, which took place in 1960. Drake used a radio telescope (essentially a large antenna) in an attempt to uncover signals from nearby Sun-like stars. In 1961 Drake proposed what is now known as the Drake equation, which estimates the number of signaling worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy. This number is the product of terms that define the frequency of habitable planets, the fraction of habitable planets upon which intelligent life will arise, and the length of time sophisticated societies will transmit signals. Because many of these terms are unknown, the Drake equation is more useful in defining the problems of detecting extraterrestrial intelligence than in predicting when, if ever, this will happen.

Arecibo Observatory

By the mid-1970s the technology used in SETI programs had advanced enough for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to begin SETI projects, but concerns about wasteful government spending led Congress to end these programs in 1993. However, SETI projects funded by private donors (in the United States) continued. One such search was Project Phoenix, which began in 1995 and ended in 2004. Phoenix scrutinized approximately 1,000 nearby star systems (within 150 light-years of Earth), most of which were similar in size and brightness to the Sun. The search was conducted on several radio telescopes, including the 305-metre (1,000-foot) radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and was run by the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California.

Other radio SETI experiments, such as Project SERENDIP V (begun in 2009 by the University of California at Berkeley) and Australia’s Southern SERENDIP (begun in 1998 by the University of Western Sydney at Macarthur), scan large tracts of the sky and make no assumption about the directions from which signals might come. The former uses the Green Bank Telescope and, until its collapse in 2020, the Arecibo telescope, and the latter (which ended in 2005) was carried out with the 64-metre (210-foot) telescope near Parkes, New South Wales. Such sky surveys are generally less sensitive than targeted searches of individual stars, but they are able to “piggyback” onto telescopes that are already engaged in making conventional astronomical observations, thus securing a large amount of search time. In contrast, targeted searches such as Project Phoenix require exclusive telescope access.

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