Is
Anybo
dy Out
There?

For as long as
human beings have
roamed the earth,
they have sought to
uncover the
mysteries of outer
space. Only within
the past few
decades, however,
have we been able
to leave the Earth’s
atmosphere and
travel to outer
space. But, the
search for life in
other parts of the
Universe has been
going on for much
longer.

In 1899, J.P.
Morgan sponsored
a project to beam
radio signals from
a giant wire coil
into outer space.
He got no
response. Since
television was
invented, all the
TV signal waves
ever produced have
been moving
naturally at light
speed through
outer space toward
distant stars. But,
no signals have
been sent to Earth.


“Someday
I would
like to
stand on
the moon,
look down
through a
quarter of
a million
miles of
space and
say, ‘There
certainly is
a beautiful
earth out
tonight.’”
--Lieutenan
t Colonel
William H.
Rankin

No one can
argue the fact that
the Universe is
huge. For most of
us, the size of the
Universe is beyond
the scope of our
imagination. Many
people believe that,
in the entire
Universe, ours
cannot be the only
life-sustaining
planet. With this
belief, however,
comes the
knowledge that it
might be easier to
find a needle in a
haystack than to
find other life in
the Universe.

There are a
number of reasons
why finding other
life, if it’s out
there, is difficult.
First of all, the size
of the Universe
makes a physical
search impossible
with present
technology. We
can’t even travel to
the edges of our
own galaxy in a
single lifetime,
much less into the
rest of the
Universe.
Secondly, we have
no idea what to
look for. Third,
searching outer
space would be
expensive and is
not an idea that is
widely supported
by the public.

“I would
be very
ashamed of
my
civilization
if we did
not try to
find out if
there is life
in outer
space.”
--Carl
Sagan

To counter
these problems, a
number of groups
have decided to
direct their
attention to
listening for aliens,
instead of looking
for them. The
All-Sky survey
plans to scan 2 to
16 billion radio
channels in the
next few years,
looking for
channels that have
signals that don’t
come from Earth.
The Targeted
Search group plans
to focus on sun-like
stars within 80
light years of
Earth. When the
system is fully
operational, their
computers will
automatically
search 15 million
radio channels
every second
looking for signs
life.

There is no way to
predict what will
be found, if
anything. But,
either way, the
results will
probably raise
more questions
than they answer.