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British Astronomers to Join Search for Intelligent Alien Life

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Astronomers in the UK have announced plans to join in on the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence.

The search would rely on observations from seven major telescopes located across the UK, making Britain "the second largest centre for alien hunting in the world after the US," according to The Guardian's Ian Sample. Collectively, the telescopes go by eMerlin. The array would scan the heavens for signals emitted by intelligent lifeforms on other planets with the means to broadcast proof of their existence to the rest of the Universe. Exoplanets are, of course, prime targets for investigation.


What clues of deep-space intelligence might such a search turn up? A binary, interstellar telegram, similar to Earth's own Aricebo Message? Mathematical equations? Calls for Universal diplomacy? Inane GIFs? Nothing at all?


"Ask astronomers do they think ET exists and most will tell you yes," said Tim O'Brien, deputy director of Jodrell Bank, in an interview with The Guardian. O'Brien announced the undertaking at a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society last Friday. "We don't know what the nature of life would be, or whether it wants to communicate with us, but since we're collecting all this data anyway, it seems rather remiss not to search for ET signals."


Read more at The Guardian.