The truth is out there, and UCLA needs your help to find it.
UCLA’s SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) group will launch a new project on Tuesday that allows the public to assist scientists in classifying radio signals that could be signs of extraterrestrial life, a news release said.
“If we found a radio signal that was produced by an extraterrestrial civilization, it would offer compelling evidence that humans are not alone in the universe and offer the exciting possibility of decoding any message encoded in the signal,” Jean-Luc Margot, the project’s lead researcher and UCLA professor, said in a statement.
Members of the public interested in assisting scientists will be asked to view images of radio signals and answer basic questions regarding the structure of each one.
Participants will then be asked to select an image, provided by researchers, that closely resembles the radio signal they previously saw.
The goal is to match the signals to the “common classes of radio frequency interference,” a news release said.
“That’s all there is to it! Anyone with a computer or smartphone can help astronomers detect intelligent life in the universe with just a few clicks,” said Megan Li, a UCLA doctoral scholar.
People can learn more about this opportunity on the project website.
Scientists with the group have observed about 42,000 stars and over 64 million radio signals and have technology that discards about 99.5% of the signals that are either “produced deliberately or as side effects of human technologies,” such as communication systems, satellites, aircraft and more.
All natural objects that emit energy also produce radio signals, according to the news release.
The remaining detections can signify a life force outside of Earth.