Washington: A network has been launched to promote academic research in the UK relating to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).
The UK SETI Research Network (UKSRN) brings together academics from 11 institutions across the country.
UKSRN covers a broad spectrum of research topics, including potential methods for detecting signals, the linguistic challenge of deciphering messages, the probability of an extraterrestrial civilization interacting with Earth and the longevity of civilizations.
"We hope that the existence of the network will excite interest from people in the UK astronomical community that have been thinking about SETI and encourage them to contribute their work. In this session at NAM, we are presenting the whole range of UK SETI activities to the community and hope that it will promote a wider understanding of, and activity in, this subject," Dr. Alan Penny, the coordinator of UKSRN said.
Dr. Tim O`Brien from The University of Manchester`s Jodrell Bank Observatory will describe the capability of the UK`s recently commissioned e-MERLIN array of seven radio telescopes for SETI projects and report on progress in initial test observations.
O`Brien is excited about future prospects.
"It`s early days for this new SETI work at Jodrell but we think that using e-MERLIN, and future facilities such as the Square Kilometre Array, we could make an important contribution to the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe," he said.