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Unidentified Aerial Phenomena
and Artefacts

Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (or SETI) is a collective term for a scientific search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, involving monitoring electromagnetic radiation for signs of transmissions from civilizations on other planets. 

Most of the work is done with the help of radio telescopes looking for radio or laser transmissions. It is a pretty rare occasion that such telescope stumbles upon a signal that is not considered to be normal or known, but even if it does, there is a long procedure before it can become a candidate for extraterrestrial transmission. First, the telescope is moved away from the signal and returned back. The signal must disappear and reappear again to prove that the signal is coming from the telescope's field of view. Then known Earth or near-Earth sources, such as satellites, must be ruled out as originators of the signal. Same goes for known natural extraterrestrial sources, such as pulsars. Afterwards the signal must be confirmed by another radio telescope.

The project called Breakthrough Listen is made to search for intelligent extraterrestrial communications in the Universe. It operates $100 million in funding and thousands of hours of dedicated telescope time involving a set of reliable modern telescopes. The project uses radio wave observations from the Green Bank Observatory and the Parkes Observatory, and visible light observations from the Automated Planet Finder. All data generated from the project are available to the public. The first results were published in April 2017, and the further updates are expected every 6 months.

There is a crucial thing in SETI. In order to find life, you first have to find planets that are habitable. In order to be considered habitable the planet should remain its orbit not too close and not too far from its star, because the equilibrium temperature influences the possibility of liquid water being present on the planet’s surface. The star shouldn’t have frequent and powerful solar flares, because otherwise any lifeform would be wiped out by a deadly dose of radiation. Humanity knows about 47 potentially habitable planets, and 11 of them are quite likely to have water on their surfaces. Moreover there are theoretically at least 25 millions of Earth-sized planets in Milky Way that lay in the habitable zone of their stars, but it is not clear if there is any life there. That is why such thing as biosignatures exists. Those are mostly gases, such as Ozone, Methane, Carbon Dioxide or Water, that carbon-based lifeforms need or produce. Spectral characteristics of the starlight transmitted through the planet’s atmosphere reveal the gases within. So seeing such gases in the atmosphere leads us to a conclusion, that life is really possible on that planet.  

Starshot Breakthrough is a project that aims to launch a tiny vehicle with a speed of one fifth of the speed of light to the closest star system Proxima Centauri, that is situated only in 4,2 light years from Solar System. The idea is to survey the planet called Proxima b, because it lays in the habitable zone of its planet and spectral analysis shows that it is likely to have fluid water on it surface. Moreover, the latest signal BLC-1, that is considered to be a possible technosignature, was received from the same star system.

The technology is that a set of lightweight probes are launched from the low Earth orbit and propelled by nearly a billion laser beams, creating a pulse with the power of 100 gigawatts for several minutes. The probes have a quarter inch chip each, that weighs five grams and fulfills the function of a camera, laser transmitter, computer and a navigation system. The crucial point of the technology is a giant featherweight foil sail that will be pushed by the laser beam.  The information received by the probes in approximately 20 years after the launch will be transmitted back to Earth via laser, that will travel home for another 4 years. The scientists expect to prove the existence of liquid water on the planet.

A representation of the 1679-bit Arecibo message.

Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (METI) also known as Active SETI is an initiative by a group of astronomists and astrobiologists made to contact the extraterrestrial intelligence with mostly radio messages. In 2010, Douglas A. Vakoch of the SETI Institute proposed to integrate the Active SETI and Passive SETI programs to engage in an articulated, ongoing, and developing set of experiments to contact another civilisation, considering all the problems like the Fermi Paradox. Articulated in this case means a well-designed message that could be interpreted by any sapient organism, that doesn’t know anything about human alphabet or culture. For example Arecibo message has an encoded information about our numerical system, the chemical composition of DNA, a representation of a human and the population, Solar System and an image of a telescope that sent the message in binary code There were other messages like Cosmic Call or Teenage Message that mostly represented such encoded messages or musical compositions. Physical messages like Pioneer Plaque, that was attached to Pioneer 10 and 11, also count as METI. It had a picture of naked humans, the telescope and some graphical syphers telling about Solar System and how to find it.

UFO Sightings
Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and Artefacts

Type: Sighting

Authority: US Government

These still shots are from the video that leaked out in 2017 and was confirmed to show unidentified aerial phenomena by Pentagon in 2020.

“The Department of Defence is releasing the videos in order to clear up any misconceptions by the public on whether or not the footage that has been circulating was real, or whether or not there was more to the videos. The aerial phenomena observed in the video remain characterized as ‘unidentified’”
U.S. Department of Defence

"These aircraft are displaying characteristics that are not currently within the US inventory nor in any foreign inventory that we are aware of," said Luis Elizondo, the former head of a government-funded UFO program.

In some of the videos, the pilots filming them are heard saying: “Not behaving by the normal laws of physics

Type: Data

Authority: Chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy

On September 6, 2017, an extraterrestrial object flew past Earth. Initially identified as an asteroid and called “Oumuamua”, it could have passed for one if it hadn’t been for two things:
Shape. According to scientists, it was either a very long cigar-shaped object or one that was really flat. No such asteroids had been sighted before.
Acceleration. Asteroids and comets can sometimes accelerate due to the evaporating water; however,  that was not the case with this object.

Artist’s impression of possible shapes for `Oumuamua.

Avi Loeb, Chair of Harvard’s Department of Astronomy, believes that the object is in fact an alien vehicle with a sun sail. Theoretically, it is possible to develop such technology if proper materials are available. “I don’t see any other compelling possibility”, said Loeb explaining Oumuamua’s lack of acceleration.

Type: Sighting

Authority: Russian astronaut

On August 20, 2020, Russian astronaut Ivan Vagner posted a timelapse video of five unidentified objects on his Twitter account. The video features five spherical objects that appear and disappear in rapid succession. According to the astronaut, the objects traveled at the same speed and were equidistant from one another.

The information was brought to the attention of Roscosmos management. The video footage was sent to TsNIIMash and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences for further analysis,”  the astronaut was reported as saying.

Type: Sighting

Authority: Former Israeli Space Security Chief

According to Haim Eshed, former Israeli Space Security Chief, humanity has been in contact with extraterrestrials from a so-called "galactic federation".

They have been waiting until today for humanity to develop and reach a stage where we understand, in general, what space and spaceships are,” Eshed said. He goes on to say that the United States and Israel have long been in contact with an alien race called “galactic federation”. 

He claims that former US President Donald Trump knew about that and was deeply concerned about the fact. Eshed insists that Trump was going to reveal this information but was kindly asked not to do so by the aliens because that could lead to “mass hysteria”.

Type: Signal

Authority: Parkes Observatory

In April 2019 the Parkes radio telescope caught a strange narrowband radio signal from the closest star system Proxima Centauri. It was later called BLC-1. Scientists believe it could be a techno signature of a civilization that lives on one of the two planets orbiting Proxima, but the are also theories that are more likely.
Experts say this may be radio interference since we use the same radio band for satellites or a natural process that is not well-known to scientists.

Type: Signal

Authority: Ohio State University

WOW! Signal was also a strong narrowband signal back in the 1977, that lasted for only 72 seconds. The signal was not modulated, which means, that there are no known ways to convey any information with such transmission.
There were suggestions, that it had been an Earth-sourced signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris, but those were rejected in some time. Scientific community sticks to the theory, that the signal was an artifact, because it never repeated.

Type: Data

Authority: Astronomers from Baylor University

A team of researchers from Baylor University in Texas have found a large cluster of mass under the Moon’s largest crater. Perhaps, it is a core of a metal asteroid that struck the Moon a millenia ago or a magma solidification. Some scientists even go so far as to assume that there can be a metal structure under the Moon’s mantle. There are different hypotheses; however, none of them can be confirmed yet. 

Type: Data

Authority: International team of astrobiologists

Data sent to Earth by NASA’s Curiosity rover indicates that Mars could have has the environment factors to support life. Thiophene, a chemical substance found in coal and crude oil, could be a sign of life on the Red Planet. “There are several biological pathways for thiophenes that are more likely than chemical ones,” says Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Washington State University astrobiologist.  

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