Intergalactic light beams might be just the ticket for making contact with space aliens

The “Trillion Planet Survey” aims to search the sky for signs of light — and life.

Possible signs of alien life haven't been spotted in the Andromeda Galaxy thus far — but that isn't stopping scientists from searching.

Possible signs of alien life haven’t been spotted in the Andromeda Galaxy thus far — but that isn’t stopping scientists from searching.

For more than a half century, we’ve been scanning the skies for radio signals that might be evidence of an alien civilization. Now physicists at the University of California, Santa Barbara are trying a different approach: scanning the skies for light beams that are monstrously intense. It’s a promising approach that could uncover aliens that have equipped themselves with the mother of all laser pointers.

The idea of using light beams to signal from one world to another isn’t new — even the Victorians considered it. In 1874, the Finnish mathematician Edvard Engelbert Novius proposed wiring up 22,000 light bulbs and using curved mirrors to focus their glow on Mars, thereby alerting Red Planet residents that they had neighbors on the third rock from the sun. He didn’t get the funding.

The Santa Barbara plan is to reverse Novius’ scheme and look for aliens who might be signaling us. Or, more accurately, inadvertently spilling light in our direction with a light source brighter than a blowtorch. The scientists plan to search for such high-tech luminaries camped out in the Andromeda Galaxy, which at 2.5 million light-years away is the nearest large galaxy to our own Milky Way.

This effort is an offshoot of another project developed at the university. Several years ago, faculty physicist Phil Lubin suggested syncing up a phalanx of high-powered lasers to produce a truly blinding light source. His idea was to use this super-laser to kick matchbook-sized space probes to nearby stars at roughly 20 percent the speed of light. This is difficult, but not impossible, and Lubin’s plan is now getting financial support from NASA and Breakthrough Starshot, a private initiative funded by venture capitalist Yuri Milner. It’s exciting to think we could send probes to the nearest stars fast enough that the project scientists will still be alive when the probes reach their destination.

But Lubin and his students also cooked up an ancillary experiment: a search for alien societies so advanced that they’ve already built powerful lasers for their own interstellar launches. These light sources would be easy to see even at astronomical distances. Indeed, by some reckonings, if you were looking down the beam of such a laser even from very far away, it would outshine stars, quasars, supernovae and — well — anything in the universe. You would notice.

The Santa Barbara team plan to use small telescopes to repeatedly take photos of Andromeda. Then they will compare these pics with older photos to see if any new “star” has appeared — possible evidence of a non-natural source. The process will be automated, and the survey can go on as long as there are interest and support.

Radio telescope antennas like these could be key in discovering life that exists outside of our galaxy.

Why Andromeda? The reason is simple: choosing a nearby galaxy means the project can quickly reconnoiter a vast swath of extraterrestrial territory.

Andromeda, like the Milky Way, is thought to contain a trillion or so planets, a fact that led the Santa Barbara physicists to inventively dub their effort the Trillion Planet Survey. Most conventional searches for E.T. look for signals from nearby star systems one at a time. By examining an entire galaxy at once, the Santa Barbara scientists aim to greatly increase the chance of finding something.

There are some worries. Even if Andromeda contains a society whose super-bright lasers routinely stab the sky, the rotation of their home planet might cause this beam to sweep over Earth very quickly. If so, it could easily be missed. It’s also worth noting that Andromeda — which you can check out yourself with binoculars — has been studied nearly as much as the Bible. No one has ever seen any puzzling bright lights. In addition, astronomers hunting for supernovae have surveyed millions of other galaxies with automated telescopes. They’ve found many exploding stars, but no super-lasers.

Of course, failure to find these things doesn’t prove they’re not there.

The search for aliens has always assumed that advanced beings will either transmit an unnatural-looking signal or construct some artifact large enough to be seen with a telescope. But few searches have eyed as much cosmic real estate as the Trillion Planet Survey plans to do. And who knows? It just might turn up some society that’s truly enlightened.

The Pentagon Ran a Secret Program to Find UFOs. Should We Expect Aliens?

Sight Unseen

Sightings of aircraft moving at high speeds with no visible signs of propulsion. Objects hovering over the sea without any apparent means of lift. Military operators exchanging nervous messages as they try to make sense of what they are recording. These scenes are part of an unprecedented disclosure from the New York Times, one that outlined details about a top secret Pentagon program devoted to the investigation of UFOs.

Between 2007 and 2012, the United States government spent $22 million of its annual $600 billion defense budget on the so-called Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program. This is the first time the Government has admitted the existence of such operations. According to Pentagon spokesperson Laura Ochoa, the programs were terminated because “there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding.”

According to the New York Times, the scheme, now defunded, still exists in a more informal fashion. “The Department of Defence takes seriously all threats and potential threats to our people, our assets, and our mission and takes action whenever credible information is developed,” Ochoa said.

So does this revelation signal the existence of alien life visiting Earth? Is the program just a political pet project? We asked a panel of scientists and analysts to weigh in on the significance (or lack thereof) of this revelation.

Below are their thoughts regarding what the Pentagon’s secret UFO program means in terms of international relations, scientific advancement, the existence of UFOs, and our search for life in the cosmos.

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute:

The good news is that the New York Times story vindicates the claim that a conspiracy of silence has shrouded the Defense Department when it comes to this phenomenon. Indeed, it seems there really was some activity to look into — the possibility that visitors from light-years away have been sailing our skies. I get the impression that the principal motivation was not to verify (or not) extraterrestrial activity, but to check on the possibility of Russian or Chinese aviation developments.

The bad news for saucer sympathizers is that the investigation doesn’t seem to have come up with any really good evidence. Indeed, if the evidence was obviously convincing, the investigation would have been broadened, not cut back or terminated.

Then there are many other questions one could ask: why give so much of the funding for this project to an individual who has long advocated the point of view that Earth is being visited (and, I note, someone whose background is not science)? What you want – and what the UFO investigations of a half-century ago had – is a body of experts who come to the evidence with open minds.

What’s truly amazing is that, for more than a half-century, some folks have claimed visiting craft are hanging out in our airspace. But the evidence remains debatable, to be generous. On the contrary, when the Spaniards invaded Peru at the beginning of the 16th century, the Inca weren’t still arguing the point 50 years later. They knewthat someone “alien” was afoot in the land. Somehow, the putative extraterrestrials who’ve decided to visit our planet have managed to keep their activities clandestine, and the good evidence secret from everyone but the U.S. government. That’s a tough assignment!

Andrew Siemion, Director of the SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley:

My opinion as a scientist is that any objective description of any phenomena should be backed up by evidence and, despite many decades of reports of various UFO and abduction phenomena, we have only personal anecdotes and ambiguous photography. Moreover, astronomers spend their lives looking at the sky with a wide variety of telescopes and techniques, and we have never snapped a picture of a spaceship. For the moment, our searches for radio and laser signals from intelligent life and investigation of astrophysical anomalies (SETI) offer us the best opportunity to detect extraterrestrial intelligence, should it exist.

All of that said, the possibility that, in the past, our solar system could have been visited by an advanced extraterrestrial species, or that we may be visited in the future, is real. We know that intelligent life capable of interstellar travel arose at least once in our Universe, and it might have arisen many, many times.

Trey Menefee, Independent Researcher, Open Source Intelligence Expert, Former Lecturer at the Hong Kong Institute of Education:

I think the US Navy and Air Force have a lot of weird videos and stories to tell. I think the issue is not unreliable narrators, but unreliable interpreters of confusing, conflicting, and otherwise baffling data and presumed facts.

I think the secrecy and closed-door nature of the investigations means that they likely fall victim to the same cognitive traps the Chilean Navy fell into where they didn’t question the ‘priors,’ the assumptions that underpinned their analysis and came to ‘unidentifiable’ conclusions. If the military released all the data, OSINT [Open Source Intelligence] researchers would likely figure what happened better and faster than these classified investigations.

Peter Garnavich, Chair of the Department of Astrophysics and Cosmology Physics at the University of Notre Dame:

As a scientist, I am skeptical of UFOs. They have been talked about since before I was born, yet all we ever have for evidence are grainy images and dubious eyewitnesses. The vast distances between stars and what we know about space travel make these sighting unlikely to be alien life.

As a person, I love the idea of UFOs. They are mysterious and exciting. They embody the science fiction of Star Trek and Star Wars and the idea that humans are worth visiting. So I am not surprised that the defense department had a UFO office, and I am not surprised that they are closing it. Although they could find worse ways to spend that money.

Avi Loeb, Chair of the Astronomy Department at the University of Harvard:

I was surprised to hear about the federal funding of the UFO study. This would make sense if the unidentifiable flying objects are suspected of potentially being a national security risk, used for espionage for example. At any event, they are very likely to be human-made or natural atmospheric phenomena rather than an indication of an advanced extraterrestrial technology.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. But all the UFO evidence I have seen was marginal or circumstantial. We are much more likely to find evidence of alien life through our telescopes than through visual reports of pilots.

Save Earth from aliens & NASA will pay you $187,000


Save Earth from aliens & NASA will pay you $187,000
US space agency NASA has a job opening for a ‘planetary protection officer’, who will be responsible for protecting Earth against aliens – and every other planet from humans.

And if natural-born guardians of the galaxy aren’t motivated enough by simply fulfilling their calling, the position also carries a substantial salary of between $124,406 and $187,000.


The job listing says the permanent position may require “frequent travel” and is “concerned with the avoidance of organic constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”

The position’s tenure is for three years, with the chance of extending to five. It stems from the international Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which pledged to pursue studies of outer space and explore other planets while avoiding “their harmful contamination” and any “adverse changes in the environment of Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter.”

According to the job spec, the planetary protection officer will be required to uphold NASA’s policies of mitigating the risk of spaceflight missions contaminating other planets, and in turn, protect Earth and its biosphere from extraterrestrial organisms.

People with RH Negative Blood Type Are Aliens.

Scientists say radio signals from deep space could be aliens

Scientists say radio signals from deep space could be aliens

Scientists may have found proof that E.T. really is phoning home — in the form of powerful radio signals, which have been detected repeatedly in the same exact location in space.

Astronomy experts with the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have discovered six new fast radio bursts (FRBs) emanating from a region far beyond our Milky Way galaxy, according to a recent report in the Astrophysical Journal.

The discovery — made in the direction of the constellation Auriga — is significant considering the fact that at least 17 FRBs have now been detected in this area. It is also the only known instance in which these signals have been found twice in the same location in space.

The region where the signals are coming from, dubbed FRB 121102 by scientists, is about 3 billion light years away from Earth.

Five of the recently found FRBs were detected with the Green Bank Telescope, while the other was recorded by the Arecibo Observatory, “for a total of 17 bursts from this source,” the report says.

The signals were also found earlier this year and in 2012.

According to experts, the FRBs could be the result of two things: solar flares from a neutron star or extra-terrestrials. But it’s still too early to tell.

“Whether FRB 121102 is a unique object in the currently known sample of FRBs, or all FRBs are capable of repeating, its characterization is extremely important to understanding fast extragalactic radio transients,” the scientists write in their report.

In 2015, physicist John Learned, with the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Michael Hippke, with the Institute for Data Analysis, published a research paper arguing that repeating FRB waves had a 1 in 2,000 chance of being coincidental.

They claimed the radio bursts either came from a man-made spy satellite or a super-dense star, which would regularly emit bursts of radio waves.

Earlier this year, a team of astronomers from Laval University in Quebec published a report saying they had detected strange signals in a small cluster of stars.

Using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the pair analyzed the spectra of 2.5 million different stars and discovered at least 234 that were producing the signals.

“We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an ETI [extraterrestrial intelligence] signal,” wrote Ermanno Borra and Eric Trottier. “Although unlikely … there is also a possibility that the signals are due to highly peculiar chemical compositions in a small fraction of galactic halo stars.”

No Signs of Aliens Yet, But This Mysterious Star Continues to Baffle Astronomers


A new report indicates that Tabby’s Star is dramatically decreasing in brightness, raising more questions about the mechanism behind the fluctuations.


Last fall, an unassuming star called KIC 8462852 became a hot topic among astronomers and astronomy fans after the planet-hunting Kepler telescope showed unusual light fluctuations in the area. At the time, the strange changes in the light patterns were believed to be caused by either asteroids or planets; however, some suggested that the changes in light may be caused by alien megastructures revolving around the star (no, seriously).

The debated fluctuations show that something, which did not register any heat emission, is blocking 20% of the star’s light, prompting many scientists to speculate that an alien civilization may have been surrounding the star with something like a Dyson sphere.

It was an unlikely hypothesis, but remember, science is about investigating all avenues (even the most unlikely). To that end, SETI pointed their telescopes at the star to try and find evidence of aliens. They didn’t. In fact, studies pointed out that there is no credible evidence that Tabby’s Star has been steadily changing at all. But this new research has made some start questioning again.

Image Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In a paper posted to arXiv, Caltech astronomer Ben Montet and Joshua Simon of the Carnegie Institute revealed that the star has been getting dimmer over the course of four years.

The pair conducted an exhaustive photometric analysis of the data collected by Kepler during the four years of its campaign. They found that, yes, the huge dips that left many scientists baffled are there in the original data, but more importantly, the star’s total light output has been dropping—dramatically—overtime.

For the first 1,000 days, Montet said Tabby’s Star’s luminosity declined by about 0.34% per year. But over the next 200 days, the star dimmed by 2% before leveling off. A total drop of 3% in a four-year period is incredibly bizarre, especially since the astronomers also looked at 500 other stars near Tabby Star, but saw none of the behaved in a similar way.

In an interview with Gizmodo, Montet said, “The part that really surprised me was just how rapid and non-linear it was. We spent a long time trying to convince ourselves this wasn’t real. We just weren’t able to.”

And the debate rages on.

Strange messages coming from the stars are ‘probably’ from aliens, scientists say

‘It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations,’ a group of scientists looking for aliens have warned – but the signals are encouraging.

Scientists have heard hugely unusual messages from deep in space that they think are coming from aliens.

A new analysis of strange modulations in a tiny set of stars appears to indicate that it could be coming from extraterrestrial intelligence that is looking to alert us to their existence.

The new study reports the finding of specific modulations in just 234 out of the 2.5 million stars that have been observed during a survey of the sky. The work found that a tiny fraction of them seemed to be behaving strangely.

And there appears to be no obvious explanation for what is going on, leaving the scientists behind the paper to conclude that the messages are coming from aliens.

“We find that the detected signals have exactly the shape of an [extraterrestrial intelligence] signal predicted in the previous publication and are therefore in agreement with this hypothesis,” write EF Borra and E Trottier in a new paper. “The fact that they are only found in a very small fraction of stars within a narrow spectral range centered near the spectral type of the sun is also in agreement with the ETI hypothesis,” the two scientists from Laval University in Quebec write.

The research has appeaed in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, under the title ‘Discovery of peculiar periodic spectral modulations in a small fraction of solar type stars’. It appears to have been originally suggested for publication with the name ‘Signals probably from Extraterrestrial Intelligence’, according to a pre-print version of the paper hosted online.

But they make clear that further work will need to be done to confirm or deny that hypothesis. That will need to be done by watching for the same signals on different equipment so that all other explanations can be discarded.

Breakthrough Listen – an initiative set up this year to look for alien life and supported by people including Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg – said that the message was promising. But they said that further work will have to be done before they can be “unequivocally attributed” to aliens.

“The one in 10,000 objects with unusual spectra seen by Borra and Trottier are certainly worthy of additional study,” the team said in a statement. “However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

“It is too early to unequivocally attribute these purported signals to the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations. Internationally agreed-upon protocols for searches for evidence of advanced life beyond Earth (SETI) require candidates to be confirmed by independent groups using their own telescopes, and for all natural explanations to be exhausted before invoking extraterrestrial agents as an explanation.

“Careful work must be undertaken to determine false positive rates, to rule out natural and instrumental explanations, and most importantly, to confirm detections using two or more independent telescopes.”

Watch the video. URL:

NASA announced that it communicates with four races of aliens

NASA’s spokesman Trish Chamberson openly admitted the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and, moreover, noted that the National Agency is currently in contact with the four races of aliens.

Her words were published in the edition «Waterford Whispers News».

Chamberson said:

“The so-called “gray” visited our planet thousands of years. What do you think, who built the ancient pyramids and all other megalithic structures all over the world? In my opinion, everything is clear, “- said NASA spokesman.

They have a base on the back side of the moon, as well as on the ability to make some planets in our solar system. Not so long ago, they began to explore Jupiter, creating a new ring around it. Basically, they are interested in mining mineral resources and they are not dangerous for earthlings. ”

Separately Chamberson stressed the aliens are not very sociable with humans, but they have constant complaints about the actions of earthlings. Newcomers are dissatisfied with the use of nuclear weapons in the world, because, according to the spokesman, “this has a bad influence on parallel universes.”

Watch the video. URL:

Stephen Hawking warns against seeking out aliens in new film

Beware responding to signals from far off stars, physicist tells viewers in Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places – a virtual journey across the cosmos

Stephen Hawking takes viewers to five significant locations across the cosmos in the online film.
Stephen Hawking takes viewers to five significant locations across the cosmos in the online film. Photograph: Stephen Hawkin favorite places“We come in peace” might be the traditional opening gambit for aliens in science fiction, but we should be wary about beaming back a response to any advanced life-forms in real life, Stephen Hawking has warned.

Our first contact from an advanced civilisation could be equivalent to when Native Americans first encountered Christopher Columbus and things “didn’t turn out so well”, he cautioned.

The comments are made in an online film, Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, in which the theoretical physicist takes viewers on his own CGI spacecraft (the SS Hawking) to five significant locations across the cosmos.

On arriving at Gliese 832c, a planet 16 light years away, Hawking reflects: “As I grow older I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone. After a lifetime of wondering, I am helping to lead a new global effort to find out. The Breakthrough Listen project will scan the nearest million stars for signs of life, but I know just the place to start looking. One day we might receive a signal from a planet like Gliese 832c, but we should be wary of answering back.”

It is not the first time Hawking has warned about the prospect of hostile aliens. Launching the Breakthrough Listen project, which will scan the nearest million stars for signs of life, last year he suggested that any civilisation reading our messages could be billions of years ahead of humans. “If so they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria,” he said.

Stephen Hawking’s CGI spacecraft, the SS Hawking.
Stephen Hawking’s CGI spacecraft, the SS Hawking. 

The 25-minute film, which appears on the platform CuriosityStream, starts at the Big Bang, which has been the focus of much of Hawking’s career. Viewers are also taken deep into a super-massive black hole, Sagittarius A*, where Hawking explains his theory of matter, and to Saturn, which Hawking calls “the most spectacular destination in the Solar System.”

Finally, Hawking returns to Earth to Santa Barbara where he talks nostalgically of his early career at Cal Tech and times spent on the sunny California coast with his young family.

“My goal is simple: complete understanding of the universe,” Hawking said. “It’s always been a dream of mine to explore the universe.”

Responding to aliens is a really, really bad idea – Stephen Hawking

Physicist Stephen Hawking © Lucas Jackson
Stephen Hawking has advised us earthlings to be extremely wary about answering any signals from aliens when they eventually come calling.

Hawking made the comments during his new online show ‘Stephen Hawking’s Favourite Places’. In the programme, the renowned astrophysicist ‘visits’ the potentially habitable Gliese 832c, a planet located some 16 light-years from Earth.

“As I grow older I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone,” says Hawking.

Hawking believes there could very well be life on Gliese, but imagines a meeting between the two civilizations as something that would resemble Christopher Columbus meeting Native Americans, saying, “that didn’t turn out so well.”

“One day we might receive a signal from a planet like this, but we should be wary of answering back,” he cautions.


In the program, Hawking references ‘The Breakthrough Listening Project’, a 10-year $100 million initiative, which has Hawking on board, and funded by Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner.

“After a lifetime of wondering, I am helping to lead a new global effort to find out,” Hawking said of the initiative.

The project is the biggest alien-hunting exercise ever undertaken and plans on using the world’s most sensitive radio telescopes to listen in on 10 times the amount of sky than similar enterprises have achieved in the past.

But don’t start packing your bags just yet. On Gilese, a year lasts only 36 days, the atmosphere is thick with fog “or worse”, and one side is constantly facing its sun.

Stellar map with Gliese 832 in the lower left ©