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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. E.T. phone home using 10-10-220. Goals. How likely is intelligent life in the Universe? How can we find out if there is? How could we communicate with it? Should we?. Life in the Universe.

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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence


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the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

E.T. phone home using 10-10-220

goals
Goals
  • How likely is intelligent life in the Universe?
  • How can we find out if there is?
  • How could we communicate with it?
  • Should we?
life in the universe
Life in the Universe
  • What are the odds of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe?
  • How many communicating civilizations are there in the Milky Way?
  • How do you guess?
  • How do you guess the number of jellybeans in a jar?
  • Break the problem down into things you can guess.
the drake equation
The Drake Equation

N = Number of communicating civilizations in our galaxy right now.

And what about the rest?

star formation rate r
Star Formation Rate: R*
  • There are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way.
  • The Milky Way is 10 billion years old.

R* = 100 billion stars/10 billion years

R* = 10 */year

fraction with planets f p
Fraction with Planets: fp
  • What fraction of stars have planets?
  • Extrasolar planet research in the last 10 years:
    • 76 stars are known to have at least one planet.
    • 7 stars have more than one planet.
    • 1 star has three planets
fraction with planets f p1

fp = 1

Optimistic!

Fraction with Planets: fp
  • What fraction of stars have planets?
  • Extrasolar planet research in the last 10 years:
    • 76 stars are known to have at least one planet.
    • 7 stars have more than one planet.
    • 1 star has three planets
number of earths n e

ne = 1/10

Number of Earths: ne
  • How many habitable planets are there in each of these planetary systems?
  • Habitable zone: water should be a liquid
  • Depends on star.
    • No O or B
    • No M
    • No binaries
fraction with life f l

fl = 1/3

Fraction with life: fl
  • On what fraction of habitable planets does life evolve?
  • Look at our Solar System.
  • 3 planets in habitable zone, life has evolved on 1 (or maybe 2).
fraction with intelligence f i

fl = 1

Inevitable!

Fraction with intelligence: fi
  • What fraction of life bearing planets have life evolve to intelligence?
  • Is intelligence inevitable?
fraction that communicate f c

fl = 1

Inevitable!

Fraction that communicate: fc
  • What fraction of intelligent civilizations become technological enough that we could communicate?
  • Is technology inevitable?
  • Desirable?
lifetime l

L = 1000 years

Optimistic?

Lifetime: L
  • How long does a civilization last?
  • Do we have time to communicate with them?
  • For us: L = 70 years!
what s the answer
What’s the Answer?
  • R* = 10 */year
  • fp = 1
  • ne = 1/10
  • fl = 1/3
  • fi = 1
  • fc = 1
  • L = 1000 year
  • N = 330! 330 technological civilizations in the Milky Way, right now.
  • But there are 500 billion cubic parsecs in the Galaxy!
how can we know
How Can We Know?
  • How can we tell if there are extraterrestrial civilizations?
  • Go visit. Is this practical?
  • Look for visitors? Is there evidence?
  • Look, or listen, for signals from E.T.
slide18
SETI
  • Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Several organized searches over the last 30 years.
  • Use a radio telescope to try to detect signs of E.T.
  • Why?
  • The Earth floods space with radio waves.
    • TV
    • Radio
    • Cellular phones
    • etc
e t fm
E.T. FM
  • Most natural radio sources are broadband.
  • Radio stations are narrowband.
tuning the dial
Tuning the Dial
  • Nearly all searches have been looking for extremely narrow radio signals.
    • But there are millions and billions of frequencies to listen to.
    • And millions and billions of stars
  • Concentrate on nearby sun-like stars.
    • No luck.
  • Point in the sky randomly.
    • No luck yet. But you can help.
seti@home
SETI@Home
  • Receiver piggybacks on Arecibo telescope.
  • Constantly searches as telescope observes.
  • Millions of channels.
  • Thousands of hours.
  • Lots of data.
  • Needs lots of computer power.
  • Your power.
is there anybody out there
“Is there anybody out there?”

We have made three attempts to communicate.

  • The Arecibo broadcast to Hercules Cluster.
here s my card
Here’s my card.

2. The Pioneer 10 and 11 plaques.

Pioneer 10 is now 12 billion km from Earth – 80 AU  11.3 light hours!

the voyager record club
The Voyager Record Club

3. Voyagers 1 and 2 contain a plaque and a record.

slide26
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40
  • Java, court gamelan, "Kinds of Flowers," recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43
  • Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08
  • Zaire, Pygmy girls' initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56
  • Australia, Aborigine songs, "Morning Star" and "Devil Bird," recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26
  • Mexico, "El Cascabel," performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14
  • "Johnny B. Goode," written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38
  • New Guinea, men's house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20
  • Japan, shakuhachi, "Tsuru No Sugomori" ("Crane's Nest,") performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51
  • Bach, "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55
  • Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55
  • Georgian S.S.R., chorus, "Tchakrulo," collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18
  • Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52
  • "Melancholy Blues," performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05
  • Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30
  • Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
  • Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48
  • Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20
  • Bulgaria, "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59
  • Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57
  • Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, "The Fairie Round," performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17
  • Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12
  • Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38
  • China, ch'in, "Flowing Streams," performed by Kuan P'ing-hu. 7:37
  • India, raga, "Jaat Kahan Ho," sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30
  • "Dark Was the Night," written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15
  • Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37
a pale blue dot
A Pale Blue Dot

43 AU

Credit – Voyager 1990