E.T won’t be able to hide for much longer. Researchers from the University of California San Diego, University of California Berkeley, University of California Observatories, and Harvard University, have teamed up to create a network of SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) telescopes capable of working in unison to monitor 10,000 square degrees, or the entire observable sky, instantaneously.
Researchers will name the new array of telescopes PANOSETI, and once fully assembled, they will be able to scan the entire visible sky for random flashes of optical or infrared light in space, which often occurs on a nanosecond-to-second timescale. Each telescope will image an area of just 10 degrees by 10 degrees, meaning they will be able to look in-depth at a single area of the sky.
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“When astronomers examine an unexplored parameter space, they usually find something surprising that no one predicted. PANOSETI could discover new astronomical phenomena or signals from E.T.” said Dan Werthimer, chief technologist at UC Berkeley’s SETI Research Center.
“The goal is to basically look for very brief but powerful signals from an advanced civilization. Because they are so brief, and likely to be rare, we plan to check large areas of the sky for a long period of time.”
The research team behind PANOSETI intends on building 80 new telescopes at the observatories in UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, with construction set to begin in 2021. There are currently two prototype PANOSETI telescopes set up at Lick Observatory in San Jose, California.