ET Probes: Looking Here as Well as There


J. Gertz (2016), JBIS69, pp.88-91

Refcode: 2016.69.88
Keywords: Probes, SETI, ET, Altruism, Asteroids

Almost all SETI searches to date have explicitly targeted stars in the hope of detecting artificial radio or optical transmissions. It is argued that extra-terrestrials (ET) might regard sending physical probes to our own Solar System as a more efficient means for sending large amounts of information to Earth. Probes are more efficient in terms of energy and time expenditures; may solve for the vexing problem of Drake’s L factor term, namely, that the civilization wishing to send information may not coexist temporally with the intended recipient; and they alleviate ET’s reasonable fear that the intended recipient might prove hostile. It is argued that probes may be numerous and easier to find than interstellar beacons.