The Search for Extraterrestrial Megastructures

For the first time in their history, NASA recently began funding searches for artificial extraterrestrial megastructures. While the agency has looked for life in space for decades, it’s been via biosignatures rather than technosignatures; signs of biological processes rather than signs of technological activity, which indicate higher intelligence. As Mordechai Rorvig writes for VICE, the existing department SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, founded in 1984) is “about looking for signs of technology, but there can be no technology without life evolving to build it, first.” That means the search for artificial megastructures is on, and the hypothesized finds are fascinating—such as star-sized supercomputers. “It will be exciting to see what we find, even if just astrophysical oddities,” Steve Croft (radio astronomer and leader of the Breakthrough Listen project at Berkeley’s SETI Research Center) tells VICE’s Motherboard. Read more there.

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