Joined: 6 Apr 00
We were talking here about Optical SETI searching for ET in terms of the ET projecting a laser beam into space.
However, do you think it would be possible, now or at some point in the near future, to have Optical SETI look for shadows, such as moving ETs and static erected structures on the planet?
I'd imagine that'd be a lot tougher for us than a projected laser beam, and would require they be a race of giants. The dinosaurs were pretty big though, as were early insects.
What does everyone here think?
Joined: 29 Jun 99
IMO there are better places to put our efforts.
Joined: 25 Nov 01
That is exactly what the Kepler mission is doing (now Kepler 2 after the gyros damage). Except for Kepler, the "shadows" are the entire planets being searched for.
There is also a lot of work being done to sample the light spectra from star systems, and some of that has been attempting to distinguish only the light from the planets... If we can measure a certain mixture of gas, such as the pollution that is seen for our own planet, then that could be suggestive of life processes or even civilizations...
(Note that our biggest loudest beacon that we are continuously transmitting to any aliens that might be interested in looking is the optical spectral signature seen for our artificial pollution that we are dumping into the Earth's atmosphere!)
So far with our present capability, the best we can do is look for planet-scale effects...
Further to that, ALL of science looks for the "unusual" and "unexpected" and so in some ways, all of our scientific work is in some way looking for ET and for even weirder things...
"Optical" is just another part of the radio spectrum which we tune into...
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