SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has been searching for intelligent life in the universe for more than 50 years. Although some interesting anomalies have been detected, nothing conclusive has been found yet. Recently, SETI installed a new infrared telescope called NIROSETI (Near-Infrared Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) at University of California’s Lick Observatory. With this new installation, scientists will be able to observe and detect potential alien civilizations thousands of light years away (much farther than the existing radio wave technology).
Scientists around the world are constantly sifting through data, like finding a needle in a haystack. Telescopes are picking up FRBs (fast radio bursts) which last a few milliseconds and give off about the equivalent of a month’s worth of energy from the Sun. So far, 10 have been detected. Currently, no one knows what causes them. Ordinary star bursts are counted out because of the speed at which the signals are recorded. These signals equal about the size of hundreds of kilometers across…at most. What we currently know about cosmic physics cannot explain this phenomena.
[highlight]The Dispersion Measure[/highlight]
Electrons in space scatter where higher frequency waves travel faster than lower frequency waves. The more it travels, the greater the span (the dispersion measure) between higher and lower frequencies.
[blockquote]In this case, all 10 bursts gave off the exact same number…187.5.[/blockquote]
The possibilities could range from unmapped spy satellites to intelligent life emitting radio waves to the universe. If these signals come from intelligent life outside of Earth, it would not be the most economical way to send a message. These signals would require an immense amount of energy to reach us, if they were coming from outside of the Milky Way. If they were within our own Milky Way, then they wouldn’t require as much energy. But, all in all, the energy emitting from these FRBs are immense.
[highlight]The Kardashev Scale[/highlight]
The Kardashev Scale is a hypothetical scale involving a Type I, II, and III.
Similar to our current technological level here on Earth.
Technology from a civilization utilizing the entire energy and radiation from its own star.
Technology from a civilization potentially utilizing energy from its own galaxy (about the size of the Milky Way).
In order for such a civilization to output FRBs to us, they would need to be the equivalent of a Type II civilization.