New Project to Search for Intelligent Life on Other Planets

The U.S. space agency has approved a financial award for researchers to look for evidence of progressive technology on other planets in the universe. Scientists call such evidence “technosignatures.”

NASA describes technosignatures as “signs or signals, which if observed, would allow us to infer the existence of technological life elsewhere in the universe.”

The best-known technosignatures are radio signals that scientists have identified coming from outer space. But NASA notes, “there are many others that have not been explored fully.”

Improvements in space technology have led to the discovery of many new planets that researchers want to study.

Since 1995, scientists have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets. These are planets that orbit a star outside the solar system. Some exoplanets have already been identified as having similarities to Earth that could possibly support life forms.

Scientists have long centered their research of other planets on “biosignatures.” These are chemical or physical markers suggesting the presence of simple life forms elsewhere in the universe.

But in recent years there has been increased interest in studying technosignatures, including among NASA scientists.

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