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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SETI TO SARCH THE MOON FOR ALIEN FOOTPRINTS?



Paul Davies and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University have recommended a crowd-sourcing effort to find artificial structures on the moon. After all, lunar missions like NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are returning some stunning, high-resolution imagery of the moon's surface. If aliens have been there, possibly we could spot evidence of their presence.

"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," Davies and Wagner say in their article published in the journal Acta Astronautical .      
 
Indeed, due to the moon's pristine atmosphere, any modification of lunar surface features will remain preserved for eons -- the lack of an atmosphere means features are not eroded away. Unless intelligent aliens came, saw and then covered their tracks, maybe they left something as basic as a footprint for us to find.

ANALYSIS: SETI to Hunt for Aliens on Keller’s Worlds:

Alien-hunting programs just like the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have primarily focused on looking for alien transmissions being beamed around the universe, but the chance of success is extremely low. Other methods of alien hunting are therefore being considered and the moon has simply become the logical "intelligent alien hunting ground.

If these hypothetical aliens are advanced enough to traverse the vast distances between the stars, and if they decided to pay the Earth-moon system a visit over the past few million years, they may have used the lunar surface as a perfect observation post. Logical, right?


The idea that some kind of alien artifact might have been left behind then makes sense. This "artifact" might be a footprint, spacecraft or structure -- the LRO can spot the Apollo lenders and astronauts' preserved footprints from orbit (pictured top), so it stands to reason that we have the technology to carry out this proposed lunar hunt.

"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," Davies and Wagner point out.

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