NASA looks for alien megastructures that could prove intelligent extraterrestrial life

 Whenever you hear about extraterrestrial life, ordinary people immediately think of beings that are very similar physically to humans – even though they have bigger eyes, greenish skin, long legs, hands with only two fingers and everything that the imagination allows. 

And it gets almost frustrating when we click on a news article about the supposed discovery of alien life and realize that these are possible microbiological signs or something quite different from what cinema and television have rooted in our imagination all our lives. .


However, to general delight – or despair – there is, yes, a search by NASA and other space agencies for manifestations of intelligent life outside of here, and not just for “martian microbes”. 

After all, even though this research on early life is extremely important for science in general, what we want to know is if some potbellied ET with an oval head can appear out of nowhere in our backyard, turn on a little red light on the tip of the finger and ask for a ride from back home in the basket of our bicycle — a reference that the current generation would call us cringe .


Either way, the truth is out there, and it's what researchers at the US space agency and the Search Institute for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are looking for.

Method is the same used in the detection of exoplanets

Much of the SETI Institute's research involves scanning space for light and radio signals as indicators of extraterrestrial life. What's more, it's also looking for larger objects, which astronomers call alien megastructures.

"It's essentially any artificial structure built by an intelligent civilization, perhaps for energy harvesting purposes," Ann Marie Cody, a scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, told the channel's Space show. Motherboard on YouTube.  

The method that Cody and his colleagues apply to try to find these megastructures is really simple and has been widely used by scientists to discover exoplanets and other celestial bodies for decades. But with a different goal. “I'm looking for what we call technical signatures, and that's not the same as looking for life based on molecules, we're looking for very advanced civilizations,” says Cody.


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