First Alien Contact: The Government Is Preparing For extraterrestrial Communication
Improvement in technology has searched for extraterrestrial life (SETI) more likely to result in alien communication than at another point in our history as a species. Science has made it so that astronomers can catch the makeup of planets outside of our solar system.
As a result, a new research hub dedicated exclusively to the quest for alien life has been established in Scotland.
According to an interview with VICE, John Elliot, an honorary study fellow at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, has discovered one of his dreams and officially established an alien contact research center.
The SETI-Post Detection Hub focuses on what comes after first contact with an alien species has been established. The science at the new research center deals with how to communicate, not only with an alien species but with humans. Convincing a suspicious populace that aliens are real. And contact has been made is a tricky proposition that crosses into multiple fields of study.
In December 2020, astronomers announced they had discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri. The star is 4.2 light-years away, and while the planet, Proxima b, is too close to its star to support life as we know it, the discovery raises the possibility that there might be other habitable worlds in that star system.
With the release of the news, the SETI-Post Detection Hub’s research is on human behavior and what should be done after we receive a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization. The SETI Institute, a research center whose mission. “Explore, understand and explain the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe,” has been working on this problem for years.
But the government has only recently started to take the possibility of extraterrestrial life seriously. In 2015, the NASA Astrobiology Strategy was release, which, for the first time, included a section on the search for intelligent life. The strategy called for the development of a “post-detection” protocol
Part of the SETI-Post Detection Hub’s research is on human behavior after establishing alien contact. To that end, Elliot’s team is not only comprise of scientists, but also lawyers, sociologists, and UFO enthusiasts from around the world. The hope is to address an issue science can not solve. Conspiracy theorists that will insist a signal, even after verification, is being faked.
The collaboration came after Elliot received encouragement from other members of the United Kingdom’s SETI Network to draft a plan. And formulate a response for when alien contact is confirm.
Scientists working on SETI worry that the original strategic plan, drafted in 1989, has not kept pace with the advance of science over the last 30 years. Currently functional, the SETI-Post Detection Hub is already experimenting with potential methods of communication regarding an alien signal.
According to Eliot and his team, detecting fossilized remains of microbes is one thing But an intelligent species reaching out to planet Earth is a much different issue. NASA’s latest missions to Mars, for example, may find ancient remains of aliens. But that is a different type of alien contact that is much easier to handle with traditional scientific methods.
Inter-disciplinary methods are require where science alone is not enough. And that is where the SETI-Post Detection Hub is focusing its efforts. Hollywood has shown different versions of what a post-contact world may look like. But now there is a dedicated team trying to make that our reality.