Tag: Seth Shostak

Will 2020 Be the Year We Find Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life?

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Article by Leonard David                            November 26, 2019                        (space.com)

• So far, astronomers have found more than 4,000 exoplanets and more are being discovered, suggesting that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet. Space.com asked top SETI experts whether they will detect life elsewhere in the galaxy or even intelligent extraterrestrials?

• In searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak relies on detecting narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light from nearby star systems. If there are 10,000 extraterrestrial societies broadcasting radio signals in the galaxy, then he estimates that SETI will need to examine 10 million star systems to find one. That will take at least two more decades.

• But with the new receivers for the Allen Telescope Array in northern California that is scheduled for 2020, SETI will be able to search for laser technosignatures, which may improve their chances. Says Shostak, “[O]ne can always hope to be taken by surprise.”

• Michael Michaud, author of the book: Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials, says that improvements to search technologies could boost the odds of success. But there are still vast areas of the galaxy that we are not looking at. In searching for chemical technosignatures, we’ll most likely find simple life forms before finding a technological civilization.

• If SETI did find evidence of life in the galaxy, Michaud thinks the news will leak quickly. How should they announce the discovery? “[G]overnmental authorities won’t have much time for developing a public-affairs strategy,” says Michaud. Premade plans for such an announcement are unlikely because agency personnel won’t be able to get past the “giggle factor”, thinking that it is all just too absurd.

• Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Initiatives, which is affiliated with SETI, said, “I think this is going to be a long-term project. I estimate a very small probability of success (of finding extraterrestrial life) in any given year.” Nevertheless, “The Breakthrough Initiatives is committed to full and immediate disclosure of any and all results,” said Worden.

• Steven Dick, an astrobiology scholar and author of the book: Astrobiology, Discovery, and Societal Impact, says despite the work by Breakthrough Listen and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), there’s no reason to think 2020 would be the year for discovery. “[A]ll these things combine to increase the chances over the next decade of finding extraterrestrial intelligence. I would caution, though, that any discovery will be an extended process, consisting of detection and interpretation before any understanding is achieved,” said Dick. “I see the search advancing incrementally next year, but with an accelerating possibility that life will be discovered in the near future.” “One thing that is certain is that we are getting a better handle on the issues of societal impact, should such a discovery be made.”

• Douglas Vakoch, president of the SETI-affiliated nonprofit Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), notes that “We are right now on the verge of finding out whether there is life elsewhere in the universe.” We scan with available technologies: Earth-based observatories, space-based telescopes, and even craft that travel to other planets and moons in our solar system. “It all depends on how plentiful intelligent extraterrestrials are. If one in 10,000 star systems is home to an advanced civilization trying to make contact, then …the news we’re not alone in the universe could well come in 2020,” Vakoch says.

• “As the next generation of space telescopes is launched, we will increase our chances of detecting signs of life through changes to the atmospheres of planets that orbit other stars, giving us millions of targets in our search for even simple life in the cosmos,” says Vakoch. But we probably won’t have “definitive proof” until after 2020 when NASA launches the James Webb Space Telescope, or 2028 when the European Space Agency starts its Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, or ARIEL, to study the atmospheres of exoplanets for potential signs of life.

• “[D]on’t hold your breath for discovery by 2020,” says Vakoch. Humans cannot control whether or not there is life elsewhere in the universe. “Either it’s there or it’s not.” “To be human is to live with uncertainty.” “If we demand guarantees before we begin searching, then we are guaranteed to find nothing. But if we are willing to commit to the search in the coming year and long afterwards, even without knowing we will succeed, then we are sure to discover that there is at least one civilization in the universe that has the passion and the determination to understand its place in the cosmos — and that civilization is us.”

[Editor’s Note]   Seth Shostak and his band of idiots at SETI make their living by covering up the widespread existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life all around us, on behalf of their puppet masters, the Deep State elite. Are they liars or are they being fooled themselves? If they are half the scientists they claim to be, they must know the truth. Therefore, they are the very face of the Deep State lying to the public. They are reprehensible. They talk in scientific terms about the new technologies that they employ in their phony search to find a needle in a haystack. But they insist that it will take years, and probably lifetimes before they find a microbe on a distant exoplanet. Then they add platitudes of what a grand discovery it will be if they ever find life in the universe besides humanity. But make no mistake. Their job is to never find life beyond the Earth, and they have gotten very good at it.

 

In the past three decades, scientists have found more than 4,000 exoplanets. And the discoveries will keep rolling in; observations suggest that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet on average.

                  Seth Shostak

Given a convergence of ground- and space-based capability, artificial intelligence/machine learning research and other tools, are we on the verge of identifying what is universally possible for life — or perhaps even confirming the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence?

Is 2020 the celestial payoff year, in which objects of interest are found to offer “technosignatures,” indicators of technology developed by advanced civilizations?

Space.com asked top SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) experts about what next year may signal regarding detecting other starfolk.

Michael Michaud

Gaining speed
“Well, despite being the widely celebrated 100-year anniversary of the election of Warren G. Harding, 2020 will not likely gain fame as the year we first discover extraterrestrial life,” said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

The search for intelligent beings elsewhere, Shostak said, is largely conducted by checking out nearby star systems for either narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light. And those might succeed at any time, he told Space.com.

“But one should remember that this type of search is gaining speed in an exponential fashion, and that particular technical fact allows a crude estimate of when SETI might pay off. If we take — for lack of a better estimate — Frank Drake’s opinion that there might be 10,000 broadcasting societies in the Milky Way, then we clearly have to examine at least one [million] – 10 million stellar systems to have a reasonable chance of tripping across one. That goal will be reached in the next two decades, but certainly not in 2020,” Shostak said.

             Pete Worden

Improved searches

But there are still reasons for intelligent-alien hunters to be excited and optimistic about the coming year. Multiple existing projects will either be expanded or improved in 2020, Shostak said. For example, the SETI Institute will get new receivers for the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, and both the SETI Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, will conduct new searches for possible laser technosignatures.

“And, of course, there’s always the unexpected,” Shostak said. “In 1996, the biggest science story of the year was the claim that fossilized Martian microbes had been found in a meteorite. No one really saw that coming. So one can always hope to be taken by surprise.”

Previous predictions

“I am skeptical about picking a specific year for the first discovery. Previous predictions of success have been wrong,” said Michael Michaud, author of the thought-provoking book “Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials” (Copernicus, 2007).

“I and others have observed that the continued improvement of our search technologies and strategies could boost the odds for success,” Michaud said, noting that the primary focus of SETI remains on radio signals. “However, we still don’t cover all frequencies, all skies, all of the time. Other types of searches have failed, too, such as looking for laser signals or Dyson spheres [ET mega-engineering projects]. Those campaigns usually have limited funding and often don’t last long.”

                   Steven Dick

A new possibility has arisen because of exoplanet discoveries, Michaud said: “In some cases, astronomers now can look for chemical evidence of life in planetary atmospheres. It is conceivable that we will find simple forms of life before we find signals from a technological civilization.”

     Douglas Vakoch

Prevailing opinion

If astronomers do someday confirm a SETI detection, how should they announce the discovery? It is an old question that has been answered in several ways.

“The prevailing opinion among radio astronomers has been that the news will leak quickly. If that is correct, scientific and governmental authorities won’t have much time for developing a public-affairs strategy,” Michaud said.

“It remains possible that the sophisticated monitoring capabilities of intelligence agencies might be the first to detect hard evidence,” Michaud said. “One might think that the government would have a plan to deal with such an event.”

But, Michaud said that his own experience suggests that such plans are unlikely to be drawn up due to a “giggle factor” and would be forgotten as officials rotated out of their positions. He previously represented the U.S. Department of State in interagency discussions of national space policy.

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We May Be Closing In On the Discovery of Alien Life. Are We Prepared?

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Article by Seth Shostak                October 4, 2019              (nbcnews.com)

• In 2020, Mars and Earth will be relatively close to each other in their adjacent orbits around the sun. Taking advantage of this fortuitous orbital circumstance, NASA and European-Russian space agencies will be dispatching a small brigade of spacecraft to Mars. The new NASA craft will go beyond merely scouting for locations that were once suitable for life. They’ll be looking for life itself.

• Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, is concerned that scientists haven’t thought much about the next steps should life be found on Mars. What if they found a biota that went extinct billions of years ago on Earth under the surface of Mars? Are we prepared for the discovery of life beyond this planet? Green isn’t worried about an overreaction by the public, though. In 1996, fossilized microbes were found in a meteorite that was ostensibly from Mars itself. The public barely took notice.

• What if we found an intelligent civilization on Mars? Would we do any better than the Spanish did to Native Americans in 1492? A recent survey at Arizona State University reveals that most people would welcome the revelation of intelligent extraterrestrials coming to the Earth. These rubes believe that the advanced beings would be friendly to them. Sure. Thanks ET (the movie).

• No need to worry, says Shostak. There are no intelligent beings on Mars, and certainly no civilizations. And there is no evidence that there ever were. It is a ‘silly concern’. Any life we encounter on Mars will be microscopic. But even this discovery would be enormously significant. It would be evidence that life is a process that begins on many worlds and consequently that the universe may be brimming with biology. But as of now, this is no more than hypothesis.

[Editor’s Note]  Senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak, the poster boy for the Deep State, is at it again. Here he is smugly reciting the status quo disinformation that extraterrestrial intelligence does not exist anywhere near the Earth, and that the only life we can hope to find off-planet is microbial life. To the very end, Shostak and the Deep State will deny that there are in fact many intelligent species currently visiting the Earth. We are a part of a local star cluster teeming with extraterrestrial civilizations all around us, waiting for us to shake off the shackles of ignorance cultivated by the Deep State serving an elite Illuminati cabal, to pull ourselves out of this third-density zombie apocalypse, and to join the other advanced civilizations of the Galactic Federation.

 

In the next decade or so, it’s entirely possible that you’ll see a headline announcing that NASA has found evidence of life in space.

Seth Shostak, Deep State Stooge

Would that news cause you to run screaming into the street? An article that appeared recently in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph hints that Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, thinks the public might be discombobulated by the discovery of biology beyond the bounds of our own planet. But that’s not really what Green believes. He’s concerned that we haven’t thought much about the next steps by scientists, should we suddenly confront the reality of Martian life.

Here’s the backstory: In 2020, Mars and Earth will once again be relatively close to each other in their adjacent orbits around the sun. To take advantage of this fortuitous orbital circumstance, space agencies will be lobbing a small brigade of spacecraft toward the Red Planet. Unlike the robotic explorers now prowling Mars’ dusty landscapes, these new craft — launched by both NASA and a European-Russian collaboration — will be engaged in a type of reconnaissance that hasn’t been tried since NASA’s Viking landers set down there in the mid-1970s. The new craft will go beyond merely scouting for locations that were once suitable for life. They’ll be on the hunt for life itself. Dead or alive.

It’s the imminent dispatch of these new robotic explorers that prompted Green to say that we might learn of life on Mars within a few years. They could dig up compelling evidence of biology. But he also said that the next steps are murky. Now, he wasn’t saying that news of extraterrestrial life would inevitably disquiet the public. We know it won’t because, after all, we ran that experiment more than two decades ago.

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Featured image by Jake Gillman and Andie Isaacs.

 

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We Keep Looking for Space Aliens. Are They Looking For Us?

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Article by Seth Shostak                   September 18, 2019                     (nbcnews.com)

• “It seems a safe bet that if advanced aliens do exist in our galaxy, they would at least know our planet is here,” says Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The real challenge for these inquisitive ET species isn’t finding habitable planets such as Earth, it is discovering details that will narrow their search – mass, size, approximate temperature. The aliens will have really big telescopes trained on us. Being aware of our world and its properties, would they be spurred to transmit signals in our direction? Extraterrestrials could have learned enough about us by now to even pay us a visit.

• An enormous alien telescope would see the Earth as a dot of light. Directed through a prism, they could analyze its spectral fingerprint and detail the Earth’s atmosphere. Researchers here on Earth recently used spectroscopy to detect water vapor in the atmosphere of planet K2-18b, 110 light-years from Earth. An alien telescope could surely detect oxygen on our planet. Oxygen betrays photosynthesis, a sure tip-off that this is a living planet. Light patterns would tell the alien astronomer that the Earth rotates, perhaps even revealing oceans and continents in low-res images.

• Shostak continues to ruminate: “If we can imagine it, some of (the aliens out there) have probably done it. Of course, the most interesting thing these hypothesized neighbors might find is not the outlines of the Americas or even the oxygen in our atmosphere. They might find us.” If they’re within 70 light-years of us, they could pick up the radar or television signals that we’ve been sending into space since during World War II. Roughly 15,000 star systems lie within 70 light-years.

• Researchers using data from NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory recently simulated how an extraterrestrial astronomer might gather information on the Earth, resulting in a world map more accurate than the Greeks had. It’s hardly inconceivable that alien astronomers have not only found Earth but learned that we humans inhabit it.

[Editor’s Note]   The assumption that Shostak is making here, is that intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations are as technologically deficient as we are here on earth – taking spectrometer readings from telescopes to search the galaxy for the elusive intelligent civilization. In reality, the plethora of extraterrestrials with advanced technologies have far more effective ways of watching us than telescopes, and they are literally here already. But Shostak goes through this meaningless drill of speculating what non-terrestrial aliens would do if there were any alien civilizations out there whose technology had “equaled” our own. Not that we don’t possess advanced technologies ourselves. But the elite power brokers on the planet have prevented the general populace from having knowledge of or access to these technologies. Instead, they limit the use of these technologies to their super-secret space programs and black projects, which Shostak’s disinformation is intended to hide.

The truth is that the extraterrestrial beings that are visiting our solar system and interacting with certain elite factions of our human species are far more advanced in their technological development than we. They know everything about us. But Shostak and his Deep State handlers want people to think they are continuing the hard work of searching for extraterrestrial worlds and beings. And since they haven’t found any (on purpose), there must not be any extraterrestrials out there who can reach our star system. It is all a carefully controlled psy-op that SETI has helped to perpetrate since 1960. But when it is finally revealed that advanced extraterrestrial beings not only exist but have been here throughout the history of this planet, Seth Shostak will be out of a job.

 

Scientists have been trying to discover planets around other stars for generations. They finally succeeded in the 1990s, and more than 4,000 have been catalogued since then.

But could aliens have found our planet? Is Earth cataloged by even a single population of extraterrestrials? If so, what do they really know about terra firma?

            Seth Shostak

You may consider this an idle question, of no greater importance than asking if gerbils enjoy oboe concertos. But the answer is of real consequence for those who scan the skies for signals from intelligent aliens. After all, if extraterrestrials are unaware of our world and its properties, what would spur them to transmit signals in our direction?

Additionally, if you’re among the many folks who are convinced that aliens are sailing through the troposphere, it might help your self-esteem to know that extraterrestrials could have learned enough about us to pay a visit.

It seems a safe bet that if advanced aliens do exist in our galaxy, they would at least know our planet is here. If human astronomers can find thousands of worlds in two dozen years, how many exoplanets —planets around other stars — will the denizens of other solar systems find in, say, a millennium of slogging away?

The real challenge for these exo-catalogers isn’t finding the planets, but discovering details beyond the gross characteristics — mass, size and approximate temperature. To learn more, the aliens will need really big telescopes.

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