It is conceivable that extraterrestrial intelligence uses powerful lasers to get our attention, but we lack the proper tools to find out. A newly implemented system may be exactly what we need to establish a connection.
Two laser detectors were recently installed over Haleakala, also known as East Maui volcano, according to a statement from Journalism from the University of Hawaii. The instruments, which are installed on the roofs of pre-existing buildings, will work alongside similar instruments installed in California at the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sonoma. Together, these scanners will scan the skies over the Pacific Ocean in hopes of detecting powerful heartbeats. Laser beams sent from an alien civilization.
Unlike traditional SETI, which seeks to detect radio transmissions beyond Earth, optical SETI searches for artificial light signals. It makes sense that advanced astronauts would want to use lasers to communicate, because messages transmitted through light have a “key advantage over radio, because, in principle, they can transmit more bits per second, usually half a million times more.”“, according to The SETI Institute, which runs the LaserSETI program. Foreigners can use lasers to communicate with them Spaces between stars, either with colonies outside your world Or the fledgling civilizations that seek to make First contact.
The newly installed system, a collaboration between the SETI Institute and the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), can now monitor More sky than before.
“the UH has long been involved in Astrobiology to explore the possibility of life elsewhere, whether through Research related to the formation of habitable worlds such as Karen Meek, professor of astronomy at IfA, said: In the press release. “It is exciting to add a new direction to this research by searching for signatures. technological”.
Previous efforts were based on the detection of extraterrestrial lasers In photomultiplier tubes, which basically work like single pixel cameras. As a result, only a small area has been examined, and the visual SETI so far number he has I have Meets space laser.
The new system differs in that it operates on the assumption that the strange flashes will be monochromatic, “an intrinsic feature of the laser,” according to the press release; Stars emit a full spectrum from blue to red, but lasers only appear in a single wavelength. this means That new LaserSETI devices can be built from relatively slow 2D solid-state sensors such as those found in commercial video cameras.
Each device is equipped with two identical cameras, which rotate 90 degrees from each other along the axis of view. The diaphragm splits the incoming light into spectra that the camera records at high speed. The commercial wide-angle lenses used in LaserSETI machines are capable of shooting around 75 degrees, so only a few are needed to scan the entire night sky. It is a “major step forward in the search for technical signatures” and it is “the first project in optics or radio astronomy designed to cover the entire sky,” said Eliot Gillum, principal investigator at LaserSETI.
LaserSETI devices in Maui point to the east, while previously installed devices in California point to the west, allowing for simultaneous remote coverage. This will be important for triangulating sources outside our solar system and excluding local sources such as aircraft and satellites.
This is a laser detection system began to take shape. In addition to these two bases, 10 more devices are planned to be deployed in Puerto Rico, the Canary Islands and Chile. That would cover a lot of the Western Hemisphere, but SETI’s ultimate goal for this $5 million to cover the entire night sky. If there are extraterrestrials somewhere, with their laser It blinks, we have to be ready.
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