What's the Latest Development?
A pair of researchers at Arizona State University suggest expanding SETI's search to include looking for evidence of alien artifacts—on the surface of the moon! Currently, SETI, or the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, is limited to scanning the skies for deliberately beamed radio signals. But evidence of extraterrestrial existence could come in many forms—perhaps an ancient technology, for example. Searching existing databases, including high-resolution maps of the moon's surface, is a low-cost source of potentially rich data.
What's the Big Idea?
The question of life outside Earth is an ancient one but today we are tantalizingly close to finding answers in places like Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa and the recently discovered exoplanet Kepler-22b. And while NASA's latest Mars rover, Curiosity, cost $2.5 billion, "crowd-sourced analyses of [lunar surface] imagery in search of alien artifacts could be readily expanded and outsourced at little to no extra cost." While the chances are slim, were we to find evidence of alien life on the moon, it will have been a very cost-efficient discovery.
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