Saturday, 7 March 2020


While primarily designed for the study of natural phenomena like pulsars and evaporating black holes two experimental telescopes at San Jose’s Lick Observatory, due to come on-line soon, are also being conscripted for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence as part of a pulsed all-sky near infrared optical survey.
As laser beams are less energy intensive and less susceptible to degradation over great distances researchers postulate that coded pulses of light might be a preferred form of communication, especially on an interstellar scale, and something outside of the radio range where SETI has traditionally looked. Although not specifically calibrated to search for alien megastructures, looking in the infrared spectrum might pick up on the residual heat of a Dyson Sphere, a theoretical construct popularised by the recently departed Freeman Dyson (*1923, first proffered by science fiction writer Olaf Stapledon in a 1937 novel) of an alien civilisation advanced to the point that they could contain and harness the output of a star’s power.