SETI- Radio Waves

We’re listening to a small portion of the radio wave signals which surround our planet, originating from broadcast stations, aircraft, satellites and other sources — it’s all part of the collective noise of modern technology. But are we the only ones sending these signals out into the universe?

I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

“Earth has been signaling its presence to other civilizations which might exist, for the last 50 years or so. And that means that out to about 50 light years or so, our radio programs, television programs, cold war search radars, and other high power transmitting devices can already be detected over inter-stellar distances.”

Paul Shuch is the Director of the SETI League. SETI stands for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, and its members keep their radio receivers tuned to the skies, listening for non-earthly communications.

“SETI uses radio telescopes– sensitive radio receivers and large antennas– to listen for radio evidence of other civilizations in space. Our planet, after all, is surrounded by a sphere of radiation, caused by our use of radio technology. We hypothesized that other civilizations may also go through a radio using phase in their technological evolution. And if they do, we have a fighting chance of hearing their signals just as other civilizations have a chance to hear ours. If I detected a signal from another intelligent civilization, it would answer the fundamental question”are we alone” very eloquently, even if no further information were exchanged. What SETI seeks at this point is sure and certain knowledge of the existence of other civilizations. Dialogue, which is ever so much more complex– that comes later .”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

SETI- Radio Waves

For years we've been sending radio signals into the universe. But is anyone out there listening?
Air Date:12/15/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

We're listening to a small portion of the radio wave signals which surround our planet, originating from broadcast stations, aircraft, satellites and other sources -- it's all part of the collective noise of modern technology. But are we the only ones sending these signals out into the universe?

I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

"Earth has been signaling its presence to other civilizations which might exist, for the last 50 years or so. And that means that out to about 50 light years or so, our radio programs, television programs, cold war search radars, and other high power transmitting devices can already be detected over inter-stellar distances."

Paul Shuch is the Director of the SETI League. SETI stands for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, and its members keep their radio receivers tuned to the skies, listening for non-earthly communications.

"SETI uses radio telescopes-- sensitive radio receivers and large antennas-- to listen for radio evidence of other civilizations in space. Our planet, after all, is surrounded by a sphere of radiation, caused by our use of radio technology. We hypothesized that other civilizations may also go through a radio using phase in their technological evolution. And if they do, we have a fighting chance of hearing their signals just as other civilizations have a chance to hear ours. If I detected a signal from another intelligent civilization, it would answer the fundamental question"are we alone" very eloquently, even if no further information were exchanged. What SETI seeks at this point is sure and certain knowledge of the existence of other civilizations. Dialogue, which is ever so much more complex-- that comes later ."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.