In last week’s episode, I addressed the topic of how astrobiologists look for extraterrestrial life by searching for telltale indicators of biological processes at work (aka. “biosignatures”). This week, the subject was how scientists engaged in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) look for advanced life. In this case, they are looking for signs of technological activity that we would recognize (aka. “technosignatures”).
This field is evolving rather rapidly, and there are some big developments expected in the near future. To date, the vast majority of SETI surveys have been limited in scope and confined to looking for radio transmissions. But in the future, observatories worldwide and in space could be working in concert to search for everything from neutrinos and directed energy (lasers) to gravitational waves and megastructures! Check it out below!