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March 07, 2010

The first person to hear from aliens

radio telescopes

OK, so I lied a tiny bit in the cause of having a better blog post headline. But while astronomer Paul Davies almost certainly won't be THE first person to receive a message from beings on another planet, he almost certainly IS the first person whoever detects a message from the stars is going to call.

As chairman of the Post-Detection Task Group of the SETI project, Davies will decide what happens next after we discover we are not alone. In an interview in the Guardian newspaper Davies talks about how Seti researchers fight off disappointment after decades of hearing nothing from the stars but static. He also explains how...if an alien transmission is ever detected...he's not going to tell anyone where the message is coming from:

"My strenuous advice," Paul says, "will be that the coordinates of the transmitting entity should be kept confidential until the world community has had a chance to evaluate what it's dealing with. We don't want anybody just turning a radio telescope on the sky and sending their own messages to the source."

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at March 7, 2010 12:20 PM