Feeds

Earth to disappear from alien radar

SETI project a big waste of time?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The Earth is gradually vanishing from the view of any aliens that might be looking for us, because we are using fewer technologies that leak radio waves into space.

This is the view of one of the pioneers of the SETI project, Frank Drake. (SETI stands for Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, in case you just crash landed.)

His remarks cast doubt over the current search methods employed by SETI in their hunt for little green men, but, he says, also suggest a reason for the deafening silence out there.

According to New Scientist our transition from radio tranmissions to cable TV could mean that our window of detectability is no more than 100 years.

In the 1960's Drake developed an equation that gave researchers a ball park figure of how many planets in the galaxy are home to intelligent, communicating species.

One of the factors in the equation is the longevity of the observable communications, now, Drake says, this is substantially reduced. Assuming any hypothetical Aliens have developed at a similar pace to ours, and accounting for the fact that we're looking for a needle in a haystack in the first place, we shouldn't be too disheartened that we've not found anyone out there. Yet.

So instead of trying to eavesdrop on unintentional signals, we should be searching for beacons: signals sent to us deliberately. In fact, SETI has begun to do just this, but the activity is very new. ®

Related stories

Aliens: coming to a house near you soon
MS co-founder funds hunt for ET
Grid Computing for real

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.