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Moon Space Science

SETI To Scour the Moon For Alien Footprints? 167

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-an-old-hierarchy-monitor-station-and-some-robots dept.
astroengine writes "Although we have an entire universe to seek out the proverbial alien needle in a haystack, perhaps looking in our own backyard would be a good place to start. That's the conclusions reached by Paul Davies and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University, anyway. The pair have published a paper in the journal Acta Astronautica detailing how SETI could carry out a low-cost crowdsourcing program (a la SETI@Home) to scour the lunar surface for alien artifacts, thereby gaining clues on whether intelligent aliens are out there and whether they've paid the solar system a visit in the moon's recent history."
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SETI To Scour the Moon For Alien Footprints?

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  • Oh For Fuck's Sake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:26PM (#38508030) Homepage
    <facepalm/>
  • Our own backyard? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mikachu (972457) <jjburke@NOSpam.hunter.cuny.edu> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:27PM (#38508044) Homepage
    I appreciate the idea of searching for extraterrestrial artifacts, but the moon does not seem a logical place for aliens to drop off their stuff. If anything, it seems far more likely that the earth would be such a place, seeing as it has life already (and has been far more active over the course of its history) so if it makes sense to search anywhere, it's here. I'm not sure what could really be accomplished by scouring the moon...
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:35PM (#38508146) Journal
    If you wanted to leave a lasting indication of your existence, the moon would be a good place for it. It's unusual in our solar system (the only large moon around a rocky planet). If they visited in the last few billion years, then it would have been in orbit around a planet with life. It also lacks the surface erosion that you get on Earth (no water freezing and melting, no atmospheric effects), so an artefact left there would last for a long time. The stuff the Apollo crews left there is still in good condition - imagine what state it would be in if it were left almost anywhere on Earth (with the possible exception of Antarctica) for the same length of time...
  • Re:first (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:38PM (#38508194) Homepage Journal

    Oceans destroy artifacts on the scale of years. One year in the Atlantic is worth a billion years on the moon.

  • Re:first (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:05PM (#38508490)

    I don't think so. It takes ~1970 technology to reach the moon, along with a monstrous budget, yet it only takes a small budget and 1960 technology to reach the deepest point in the ocean:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathyscaphe_Trieste [wikipedia.org]

    And how long do you think you'd take to survey the entire sea-bed that way?

    I'm not saying it would be a bad idea; if nothing else it would probably find some interesting old wrecks, but I'd be surprised if it was as fast and cheap as surveying the lunar surface at resolutions high enough to spot any kind of alien prescence. That said, I very much doubt there's anything to see up there.

  • Re:first (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viperidaenz (2515578) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:36PM (#38508894)

    24 people have been to the moon, 2 to the bottom of the ocean. There are currently satellites orbiting the moon, there is nothing man made swimming around the bottom of the ocean right now. The first unmanned vehicle to go down there was in 1995, the last in 2009.

    You can communicate with the moon in less than 2 seconds using radio waves. It takes 7 seconds for sonar to reach the bottom of the ocean.

    There's apparently a $10,000,000 prize if you can get there twice

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