ARE WE ALONE?
WHAT IF WE’RE NOT?
SETI — the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence — has been going on for awhile. SETI looks for planets that could support life … maybe intelligent life … and listens for messages aliens might try to send us.
METI – Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence — is now getting started. METI scientists are not just listening for messages from aliens, they are devising messages to send to aliens. This means sending radio waves in regular patterns intelligent beings could recognize as deliberate attempts at contact, not just radio noise.
Until recently, an answer to a METI message sent to the far reaches of the universe was not considered possible for another 50,000 years. But this year, the Trappist-1 planets, three of which could support Earth-like life, were found only 39 light years from Earth. If one of our messages were received by intelligent beings on a Trappist-1 planet, we could get a reply before the end of this century.
Most of us will not live to see this development, but our children and grandchildren may.
In science fiction, humans often come into contact with curious but friendly aliens — think of the movie “E.T.” — but some scientists worry that aliens who get our messages and “find us” may not be friendly.
My next book, FUTURE CHRONICLES, projects a friendly meeting of human astronauts with the Ah-Tu people in the Tenth Century of the Age of Space. Watch for FUTURE CHRONICLES on Amazon.com sometime in 2018.
9 July 2017
Tacoma, Washington, US