Jill Tarter Explains in 30 Seconds Why We’re Searching for Aliens

by Nancy Atkinson on June 5, 2014

After nearly four decades of of listening for for signs of life in the cosmos, astronomer Jill Tarter is one of a handful of true experts on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). And since 1995 we’ve known for certain there are other planets out there; the goal now is to find one that’s habitable.

“Exoplanets are real,” Tarter said recently, talking about how the Kepler planet-hunting mission has changed the concept of SETI. “We are now observing stars where we KNOW there are planets. We’ve gone from having 20-30 potential targets to having thousands of targets. Kepler is telling us WHERE to look, and we are focusing there.”

But so far the search has come up empty. After so long with no luck, why continue? Tarter recently appeared on PBS’s “Secret Lives of Scientists”
and she gave them an answer in less than 30 seconds.

SETI's Jill Tarter. Credit: SETI

SETI’s Jill Tarter. Credit: SETI

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: