11 June 2008

LOFAR helps out SETI research


ASTRON is building LOFAR (the Low Frequency Array) telescope that is going to take search for extraterrestrial life to the next level.

In a nutshell, LOFAR will be used to detect signals / messages from space to Earth.

It's not as simple as all that though.

LOFAR (the Low Frequency Array), a new telescope that is currently being built by ASTRON, consists of about 25,000 small antennas that will receive signals from space. Despite the huge distances between stars, the next generation of radio telescopes, such as LOFAR, begin to offer the possibility of detecting radio signals beamed towards the Earth by other intelligent beings. For the nearest stars, LOFAR might even be able to detect the leakage radiation associated with extraterrestrial radio and TV transmitters.

This is an initiative taken by Prof. Micheal Garrett at Leiden University in Netherlands.

It is great that contributions from various countries will help the SETI research now.