Thursday, December 29, 2011

Searching for Aliens On a Budget – Begin with The Moon


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Searching for Aliens On a Budget – Begin with The Moon

By Frank Warren
The UFO Chronicles
© 12-28-11
     A peer reviewed paper/article (or the abstract thereof) is causing quite a stir in the electronic ether as of late. Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and author (deep breath) as well as Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University, Paul Davies, partnered with research technician in the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Science Operations Center and undergraduate student (at ASU), Robert Wagner and they have offered up an argument to “widen the search for ET” all the while—keeping the economics of any such endeavor in mind.

Their paper will soon be published in the Acta Astronautica Journal, whose content is based on “original contributions in all fields of basic, engineering, life and social space sciences and of space technology . . ..”

Although the pair acknowledges the low probability of success for SETI’s (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) goals (and practices), at the same time they realize the “impact” it would have on the inhabitants of this planet; hence, they deem it prudent to “expand” the methodologies being employed and suggest we can start right here in our own backyard.

Although the reader might tend to expect a more complex proposition by these two scientists, their idea is quite simple—the goal: look for “alien technology” or footprint; the means: “search existing data bases.” In the Davies/Wagoner abstract they write:
“ . . . databases from astronomy, biology, earth and planetary sciences all offer low-cost opportunities to seek a footprint of extraterrestrial technology. In this paper we take as a case study one particular new and rapidly-expanding database: the photographic mapping of the Moon's surface by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to 0.5 m resolution. Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artifact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration.

Systematic scrutiny of the LRO photographic images is being routinely conducted anyway for planetary science purposes, and this program could readily be expanded and outsourced at little extra cost to accommodate SETI goals, after the fashion of the SETI@home and Galaxy Zoo projects.”
IF our alien cousins are like us in thought and spirit; that is to say, IF they have a yearn to explore the unknown, and expand their inner and outer horizons, then the moon becomes a very plausible site to search; as Davies and Wagner further point out, “the lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years . . ..”

For more on Paul Davies, see his web-site here.

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