[dropcap]S[/dropcap]cientists at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are pointing their instruments toward the litany of exoplanets discovered by the NASA‘s Kepler telescope. And they need your help.
Through a radio telescope, a signal from an alien civilization would probably look a lot like a signal from a satellite orbiting Earth, only fainter. At least that’s what scientists engaged in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) suspect.
After a brief shutdown for budgetary reasons, the SETI Institute is using California’s 42-dish Allen Telescope Array to investigate the 2321 exoplanets turned up by NASA‘s Kepler space-based observatory, which is searching for Earth-like planets.
Jill Tarter, the Bernard M. Oliver chair at the SETI Institute—and the model for Jodie Foster‘s character in Contact—says the most promising window for signals is from 1 GHz to 10 GHz. Unfortunately, that range is noisy with everything from GPS satellite signals to Wi-Fi communications. And computer algorithms can only do so much.