We Are Scientists Looking for Technosignatures (signs of intelligent life)! Ask Us Anything!
Thanks for joining us for today's Reddit AMA on technosignatures! We're signing off, but you can learn more about our search at https://go.nasa.gov/2Dzgz2J
Is there life out there, beyond the edge of our solar system? Are we alone? People from all walks of life have pondered those questions. For decades, NASA has lead the charge in finding out. Astrobiologists—scientists who study how life could live on other planets—search for clues in acidic lakes, deep under ice, or at searing hot hydrothermal vents in the ocean. They also think about what signs of life could look like on other worlds, including planets in our own solar system and exoplanets, which are planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. These signs are called “biosignatures,” and include things like certain types of molecules or traces left in a rock.
At the same time, other scientists have pioneered a different kind of search for life. These scientists look for signs of intelligent life who might be trying to reach out to others in the galaxy with radio or laser transmissions. These signs are called “technosignatures.” Other types of technosignatures include evidence of pollutants in an exoplanet atmosphere or signs of an extraterrestrial structure around an exoplanet or star.
We’re a group of scientists who study astrobiology, exoplanets (including potentially habitable ones!) and potential technosignatures, and we’re here to answer your questions about this exciting field! We’ll be online starting at 1:00 p.m. EDT and we will sign our answers with our names or initials. Ask Us Anything!
- Natalie Batalha, astrophysicist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and project scientist for the Kepler Mission
- David Kipping, Columbia University’s Department of Astronomy
- Andrew Siemion, Director of Berkeley SETI Research Center
- Jason Wright, Associate Professor in Penn State’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- David Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute
- Shelley Wright, Professor at University California, San Diego