Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • David W. Latham
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1435-2



SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is an exploratory science that seeks evidence of life in the universe by looking for some signature of its technology. See SETI (the SETI Institute) for more details.


Are there any technical civilizations out there? Do we have the technology to detect their signals? What would be the most efficient way to decipher their messages? The answers to these questions make the foundation of SETI.

Modern attempts to detect extraterrestrial signals date back half a century, to project Ozma in 1960. Early searches focused on the microwave region of the radio spectrum, where there is minimum interference from natural sources in the Galaxy. From those early beginnings, enormous improvements were achieved in the coverage of radio frequencies and area on the sky, but vast regions of search space remained unexplored. With time, new developments in our own technological capabilities...


Technological Capability Radio Spectrum Signal Processing Algorithm SETI Program SETI Search 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References and Further Reading

  1. Anderson DP et al (2002) SETI@home: an experiment in public-resource computing. Commun ACM 45:56–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cocconi G, Morrison P (1959) Searching for interstellar communication. Nature 184:844–846ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Garber SJ (1999) Searching for good science: the cancellation of NASA’s SETI program. J Br Int Soc 52:3–12ADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Howard AW et al (2004) Searches for nanosecond optical pulses from nearby solar-type stars. Astrophys J 613:1270–1284ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsCambridgeUSA