Exoplanets and SETI
The discovery of exoplanets has both focused and expanded the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The consideration of Earth as an exoplanet, the knowledge of the orbital parameters of individual exoplanets, and our new understanding of the prevalence of exoplanets throughout the galaxy have all altered the search strategies of communication SETI efforts, by inspiring new “Schelling points” (i.e., optimal search strategies for beacons). Future efforts to characterize individual planets photometrically and spectroscopically, with imaging and via transit, will also allow for searches for a variety of technosignatures on their surfaces, in their atmospheres, and in orbit around them. In the near term, searches for new planetary systems might even turn up free-floating megastructures.
This work was partially funded by the University of California Berkeley via the SETI Research Center; Breakthrough Listen, part of the Breakthrough Initiatives sponsored by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation (http://www.breakthroughinitiatives.org); and the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, which is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.
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