Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence

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Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy
ASTR 101

Search of Extraterrestrial Intelligence • We search for SETI not SETL because in order to detect life in very remote areas, they need to be intelligent to indicate their presence, otherwise we would skip over the planet without second glance  We search for LAWKI; life based from carbon, depends on water as a chemical solvent, a source of energy (a star) and a planet where conditions are suitable for metabolism  Too hot = water boils off and enzymes are denatured  Too cold = frozen ice unable to act as a solvent • We expect ET life forms to have advanced evolutionary features such as binocular vision or fingers  May look scary or cute by human standards, will we be accepting either way?  Their sociology and morals are likely to differ (ex. religion?) • Search in areas with low mass stars with planets orbiting in the hospitable zone, a zone where temperatures facilitate flowing water and possible life  Life is fragile: even if ideal conditions are present it does not mean life will form nor does it guarantee catastrophic events did not wipe out life How to Make Contact: • Active Communicative Contact: send out electromagnetic signals such as light  Would take a long time for the signal to travel far distance despite light being the fastest moving thing in the universe  Radio telescopes can send out signals with encoded information  We inadvertently send out signals from light pollution, TV broadcasting, everything we transmit is out there  Signals from Earth will be distinguishable as they are highly organized • Active Physical Contact: send out
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