Aliens have been trying to contact us by cosmic Twitter, scientists claim
2010-07-26 0:00

By By Laura Roberts | Telegraph.co.uk


Aliens may have been trying to contact us by communicating in a manner similar to Twitter, scientists have claimed.

ET is more likely to be sending out short, directed messages than continuous signals beamed in all directions, experts said.

’’This approach is more like Twitter and less like War and Peace,’’ said Californian physicist Dr James Benford, president of Microwave Sciences Inc.

He and twin brother Gregory, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Irvine, looked at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti) from the aliens’ point of view.

They concluded that Seti scientists may have been taking the wrong approach for the past five decades.

Up to now scientists have listened out for unusual blips or bleeps from targeted nearby stars.

Despite 50 years of searching, no-one has yet been able to come up with evidence of an extraterrestrial signal. However, many scientists are convinced we are not alone in the universe.

’’Whatever the life form, evolution selects for economy of resources,’’ said Gregory Benford. ’’Broadcasting is expensive, and transmitting signals across light years would require considerable resources.’’

Writing in the journal Astrobiology, the Benfords claim that an alien civilisation would strive to reduce costs, limit waste and make its signalling technology efficient.

They propose that alien signals would be pulsed and narrowly directed in the one to 10 gigahertz broadband signal range.

Seti has been focusing its receivers on the wrong kind of signals, and also looking in the wrong direction, they claimed.

Rather than pointing their antennae at nearby stars, scientists should be aiming at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

’’The stars there are a billion years older than our Sun, which suggests a greater possibility of contact with an advanced civilisation than does pointing Seti receivers outward to the newer and less crowded edge of our galaxy,’’ said Gregory Benford.

’’Will searching for distant messages work? Is there intelligent life out there? The Seti effort is worth continuing, but our common-sense beacons approach seems more likely to a answer those questions.’’

Article from: telegraph.co.uk



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