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Jill Tarter's TED Prize wish: Let's look for cosmic company

Posted by: Emily McManus

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Above, Jill Tarter, the director of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute’s Center for SETI Research, makes this wish:

I wish that you would empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company.

Learn more, and help grant this wish >>

Photo: TED / James Duncan Davidson

Comments (5)

  • dan bristow commented on Jun 3 2010

    I think You have to be Very closed minded “not to see” Evidence of Past & Present Visitation..

  • Mike Stodels commented on Jun 20 2009

    To Joe: Well you might find hundreds of thousands people who might say they have been “abducted” or seen UFO’s, however I find it strange that out of all these people, no one has yet given conclusive evidence.

  • Julie Montero commented on Feb 6 2009

    Some guy from the UK is currently awaiting extradition to the US because he hacked the computers at NASA and found evidence that the government had knowledge of extraterrestrial activity.
    Look it up on youtube, the guy has given a lot of interviews so far.

  • Edward Horvath commented on Feb 5 2009

    Joe’s second question first – the discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence would be the single biggest story possible – you’d have heard, if only from evangelicals soliciting money to go convert the ETs.

    The practical limit at which we could detect another civilization depends upon how advanced the civilization is. It’s been argued that a red giant star looks an awful lot like a Dyson sphere – think of a hollow ping pong ball the size of the Earth’s orbit, occupied by lots of ETs using essentially all their sun’s energy (the red we see is their waste heat). We’ve been listening for radio signals for a few decades, but we’re only capable ourselves of sending signals a light-year or so – and the nearest star is about 4 light-years away. (It’s cheaper to listen, so we listen – but anyone we hear will have mastery of much more energy than we have, and will have to be motivated to expend a lot if it to say “hello.”)

    So it’s fair to guess that there aren’t any real advanced civilizations within a dozen light-years or so, and I personally can’t imagine that we’re alone in the galaxy, but the distances we’re talking about are truly immense, and the time it will take to have a conversation will likely be measured in centuries.

    Unless we discover something unexpected…

  • Joe Blow commented on Feb 5 2009

    “I wish that you would empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company.”

    How far and wide have we looked? Have we seen evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence anywhere, yet?