Will SETI Find Any Aliens Ever?

Californian Institute SETI might someday host a conference dedicated to discovery of other civilization. Each year, the likelihood of this event decreases along with the loss of trust to the project designed to search for extraterrestrial life. Pravda.ru interviewed Alexander Uvarov, a radio-astronomer, to find out why.

In 1609, Galileo Galilei saw the starry sky through a telescope he invented for the first time. A year later, the famous astronomer was swamped with orders from scientists, kings and nobility who also wanted to look at the Universe through a telescope.

It has been 400 since that moment. Astronomer had a chance to peep into the farthest corners of space, but never managed to discover signs of alien intelligence. Over the last 50 years, project SETI has been listening to the radio of the Universe trying to catch signals of a developed extraterrestrial civilization, but to no avail.

Now scientists say increasingly more that project SETU was initially based on a wrong, excessively refined image of space. There can be numerous explanations as to why there is no evidence of other life. One such explanation suggests that we simply do not have any “neighbors.”

Astronomers do not rule out that the very principal of the quest is erroneous. There are no guarantees that other civilizations would use the same frequency as SETI. The radio that was considered to be cutting edge 50 years ago does not necessarily represent a standard for inter-galaxy communication.

Project SETI was based on sheer enthusiasm of people who were sure that they would achieve results in the first years of its existence. Yet, there is no single scientific hypothesis that would confirm that the method is the right one. The management of the project is not concerned about it and continues to insist that listening to space cannot be stopped, and that soon the long wait will pay for itself.

Are these expectations justified? Pravda.ru asked Alexander Uvarov, a radio-astronomer an employee of the Institute for Radio and Electronics, to share his opinion.

"The latest research reveals that theoretical signs of other civilizations should be very apparent. The fact that SETI’s search was not successful most likely speaks of wrong methods.

Currently, there are many other technologies that may help find extraterrestrial life. For instance, a marker of specific substances contained in exoplanets that can only appear as a result of complex industrial processes. I think that future research must be complex and involve consecutive application of all methods in the chosen range of space.

I would like to hope that SETI project can bring sensational discoveries in its current form. The latest technologies designed to eliminate interruptions could play a significant role in it. These technologies are now being implemented, and it is not ruled out that they will allow us to hear voices of other civilizations.”

Pavel Urushev

Read the original in Russian

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov