In search for life elsewhere in universe, researchers create new way to look for signals


Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Researchers from Berkeley's SETI Research Center and the University of Washington said they have found "an exciting development" in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the way scientists search for possible signals from such life.

Utilizing a scientific method for identifying potential signals from advanced civilizations, the analysis identified 32 targets within the SETI Ellipsoid -- a strategic approach for selecting potential "technosignature candidates" based on the hypothesis that extraterrestrial civilizations, when observing significant galactic events such as supernovae, might use these stellar occurrences as a focal point to emit synchronized signals to announce their presence.

Their findings were published Monday in The Astronomical Journal.

Scientists involved in the study, which analyzed data from NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, said its innovation comes by compensating for the uncertainties in the estimated time-of-arrival of possible signals from intelligent forces. These signals, researchers said, can span over a year.

The study's co-author, Barbara Cabrales, a research intern at Berkeley SETI Research Center, said the new surveys of the sky "provide groundbreaking opportunities to search for technosignatures coordinated with supernovae."

This new development paves the way for a better framework on future searches for extraterrestrial life, and it comes during a time of renewed public interest in Unidentified Ariel Phenomena and extraterrestrial life.

"The typical timing uncertainties involved are of a couple months, so we want to cover our bases by finding targets that are well-documented over the course of about a year," Cabrales added.

But in addition to that, Cabrales said it is important "to have as many observations as possible for each target of interest, so that we can determine what looks like normal behavior and what might look like a potential technosignature," which is a measurable property that can provide scientific evidence of past or present technology.