SETI & the Search for ET Signals

SETI & the Search for ET Signals

Date

HostArt Bell

Seth Shostak, radio astronomer and director of the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, spoke about the realities of looking for artificial signals from the universe. Joining Art from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, he first discussed the differences between the movie "Contact" and the actual search for alien signatures in the radio background noise of outer space. Art heard on the news that SETI had picked up a possible interesting signal, but Shostak said that some of the details had been left out and that it was a false alarm.

Shostak guessed that there should be thousands of advanced civilizations in the universe and that we should be able to pick up radio signals from at least one of them. He also talked about the technical aspects of sending and receiving signals over interstellar distances.

The first hour featured news and Open Lines. Topics included global warming, a "demon face" said to appear between the candidates during the 2000 Democratic presidential debates, and leap years.

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