By Tim Binnall
Scientists at the SETI Institute has created a sizeable new online database which catalogs all of the searches for extraterrestrial life since 1960. Dubbed 'Technosearch,' the collection was the brainchild of famed SETI astronomer Dr. Jill Tarter. Launched last week, the searchable website features a whopping 140 different searches which have been conducted over the last five decades by various radar and optical telescopes around the world.
The purpose of the project is largely twofold in that the organizers behind Technosearch hope that it can serve as a proverbial library of past searches for researchers and also act as something of a clearinghouse that will prevent previously-examined areas of space from being inadvertently looked at again. To that end, prior to the project's creation, there had been no central database of SETI searches, which has proven to be somewhat problematic for researchers as the number of projects looking for ETs accumulated significantly over the years.
Featuring titles of papers like 'Search for Monochromatic 927-MHz Radio Emission from Nearby Stars' and 'Search for UV Laser Lines with Copernicus,' the database may be a bit too scientific for the layperson to use beyond merely marveling at just how many attempts have been made, so far, to find ETs out in space. That said, it will no doubt be a powerful aid to astronomers and SETI researchers going forward as the collection grows and becomes more refined.