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Radio Waves

Explores the behavior of radio waves and their common applications.

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Looking for ET

Looking for ET

Credit: Interdimensional Guardians
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97842878@N04/9151543551
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Do you believe in extra-terrestrials? Do you wonder if there are aliens somewhere out in space? If so, you’re not alone. Some scientists wonder that too—and they’re doing something about it. They’re looking for ET!

Amazing But True!

  • Scientists who are searching for extra-terrestrial life are doing it by “eavesdropping” on outer space. They are “listening” for radio signals from extra-terrestrial intelligent life forms.
  • Credit: NASA/ESA
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sirius_A_and_B_artwork.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    Scientists research and record data, in hopes of discovering extraterrestrial life [Figure2]

  • To learn more about their search for intelligent life in outer space, watch this video: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/seti-search-et.html

What Do You Think?

Based on the video above and links below, dig deeper into the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why is finding extra-terrestrials like finding a needle in a haystack?
  2. When and why did scientists start “listening” for radio waves to detect intelligent life in space?
  3. Many objects in space emit radio waves. How is it possible to detect radio waves produced by intelligent life?
  4. Human actions on Earth cause radio waves to leak out into space. Do you think extra-terrestrial life forms might detect us from these radio waves?
  5. What other wavelengths of electromagnetic waves have been used to search for extra-terrestrial intelligent life?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Interdimensional Guardians; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/97842878@N04/9151543551; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: NASA/ESA; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sirius_A_and_B_artwork.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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