NASA’s plan to search for aliens

The second-most-anticipated event on NASA’s 2015-16 official to-do list is the search for life beyond our solar system. The space agency made the announcement Friday, two days after the SXSW Earth Summit in Austin, Texas. The four-year plan, called Finding Extraterrestrial Intelligence (or SETI), aims to employ astronomical instruments around the world to search for radio emissions emanating from other civilizations that might have discovered Earth and our star. As we do, we’ll learn much about our place in the universe.

Despite not reaching the finished-with-the-downloads status of Orion or Sherlock Holmes, we’re already approaching a position of more than about 4 billion stars with masses above 682 billion. I don’t mean to compare myself with an exploding-massive-binary star on the final frontier. Only Isaac Newton was more precise.

From Yahoo, below:

The plan, which President Barack Obama has pledged support for, will increase the number of telescopes across the globe. Using five space telescopes — the Parker Solar Probe, the Gaia and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) — NASA will simultaneously peer at hundreds of thousands of stars. These experiments will seek signals from aliens, some of which could be strikingly similar to the light from stars in our galaxy. The plan includes global research partnerships between universities, civil institutions and businesses that will ultimately collaborate on monitoring telescopes for radio signals. The search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence will begin as early as 2015 and end in 2022, with 40 percent of funds earmarked for contributions from space-agency partners and universities.

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