Is SETI any closer to finding life elsewhere?

We take a look at where SETI is in its search for extraterrestrial life

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The ‘Wow!’ signal of 1977 is the strongest candidate for a non-natural radio signal

The ‘Wow!’ signal of 1977 is the strongest candidate for a non-natural radio signal

Asked by Leonard Richards

SETI’s search for extraterrestrial intelligence is about to get a boost, but the chances of finding anything are still slim. This year should see the completion of the Allen Telescope Array – a collaboration between SETI and the Radio Astronomy Laboratory at UC Berkeley – to develop a specialised telescope array for SETI studies. It will be made up of 350 radio dishes and will vastly advance the sensitivity of the search.

This increased sensitivity won’t only improve the ability to search for signs of intelligence, but also enable the discovery of other radio sources and add a strong use to the array. Currently the ‘Wow!’ signal of 1977 is the strongest candidate for a non-natural radio signal, but it has never been repeated or seen again.

Answered by Josh Barker at the National Space Centre

Image credit: The Ohio State University Radio Observatory/ North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

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