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Further: Seth Shostak

3 minutes

Imagine alien signals are detected. Here’s what happens next

Planets aren’t rare. Life is surprisingly durable. The more we’ve learned about the Universe, the more the search for extraterrestrial life has shifted from science fiction to serious scientific undertaking. So it’s worth considering how humanity would react if we learned, through some distant but unmistakable signal, that lifeforms elsewhere in the Universe were communicating with us. In this interview, Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Center for SETI Research in California, discusses how first contact is more likely to be perspective-shifting than Earth-shattering.

Director: Stuart Langfield

Producer: Marco Patricio

Website: StuartLangfield.com

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Physics
Going nowhere fast

After the success of the Standard Model, experiments have stopped answering to grand theories. Is particle physics in crisis?

Ben Allanach

Essay/
Space Exploration
What if ET is an AI?

After centuries searching for extraterrestrial life, we might find that first contact is not with organic creatures at all

Caleb Scharf