Physicists: We Need to Look for Alien Tweets

Scientists say SETI has the wrong approach
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2010 4:40 PM CDT
This image provided by NASA shows the immense Andromeda galaxy, also known as Messier 31, captured in full in this new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – If aliens are out there and trying to communicate, they are most likely sending short messages—the interstellar equivalent of Tweets, the Telegraph reports. The theory of a cosmic Twitter is being put forth by two physicists calling for a new approach to the long-running Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project. ''This approach is more like Twitter and less like War and Peace,'' says one.

They think the existing approach, which searches for long signals in the same frequency range—1.42 and 1.72 gigahertz—as radiation emitted by interstellar hydrogen, should be abandoned. Instead, the physicists propose that alien communication is more likely pulsed and in the 10 ghz range to save energy, notes Discover. ''Whatever the life form, evolution selects for economy of resources," explains the physicist. "Broadcasting is expensive, and transmitting signals across light years would require considerable resources.''

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