SETI (Search for Extraterritorial Intelligence) has long been looking for intelligent life in the cosmos. Among its objectives, we have the scanning of space looking for light and radio signals as extraterrestrial life indicators. Not only that: SETI also looks for larger objects, such as megastructures.
What is the exact definition of “alien mega structure”? “Essentially any artificial structure built by an intelligent civilization perhaps for energy collection purposes,” according to Vice-Ann Marie Cody, a scientist at NASA and SETI Institute, in a new interview. Experts seek out these facilities using the transit method.
“We observe thousands, even millions, of stars, we take image after image, so we translate those images into a sequence of the brightness of each star over time,” continues Cody. Every time an object like a planet passes by that star, it softens and creates a signature of light. So far, SETI has not discovered any mega alien structure.
“We don’t want science to take place behind closed doors,” according to the researcher in her interview with Vice. “We want the audience to see it’s a trial. It’s not just like finding out something right now and there it is. You must follow and test all the hypotheses.” Cody said that if SETI finds out anything, they will immediately alert the general public.
Would you like to further explore what the Search for Extraterritorial Intelligence does? We invite you to read our special on SETI.