Extraterrestrial life: TESS and SETI join forces

Extraterrestrial life: TESS and SETI join forces

SETI, which specializes in finding signs of extraterrestrial life, and the satellite TESS, which specializes in finding an exoplanet, will soon cooperate. An agreement whose purpose is to answer one of the most existential questions: Are we alone in the universe?

On the one hand, we have a SETI programme. Thanks to radio telescopes, researchers have been trying to capture radio waves coming from all over space for several years, the aim being to determine whether these waves are artificial or natural, and on the other hand, the NASA TESS satellite.

These two major "fields" of space exploration have so far worked on each side. They have just signed a cooperation agreement. The idea is to offer a SETI program of 1,000 new stars selected by TESS, which will need to be tracked.

"It's interesting that the world's most powerful SETI project with a large number of partners around the world will work with the TESS team,"

Signs of a reasonable life

Researchers will mainly analyse satellite data to identify possible "technosigns." This may take different forms. For example, we could detect "drains" of radiation emitted from the surface. It would also be interesting to focus on satellites and other space debris orbiting remote exoplanets. sufficiently dense satellite fleets in geosynchronous orbit should indeed be detected from the Earth.

Unfortunately, the latest "interview" of this kind did not bear fruit. In this campaign, SETI researchers focused on 1,327 stars within 160 light-years, but no extraterrestrial sign was found. Certain signals certainly awakened their curiosity, but after careful examination, everyone came from normal sources.

For its part, TESS continues to explore thousands of stars that have evolved 300 light-years from our Sun. The tool has already proven itself. A few dozen exoplanets have been discovered, including the earth's size, some 52 light-years from Earth. A few weeks ago, NASA also announced that it had identified three objects at a distance of about 35 light-years, and three additional worlds in 73 light-years.