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Is ET Lurking in Our Cosmic Backyard?
  • James Benford
James Benford
Microwave Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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The ultimate technosignature is an alien artifact. We should look for them near Earth. The great virtue of searching for artifacts is their lingering endurance in space, long after they go dead. I compare a Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts (SETA) strategy of exploring near Earth for alien artifacts to the existing listening-to-stars SETI strategy. Stars come very close to Earth frequently. About two stars per million years come within a light year. An extraterrestrial civilization that passes nearby can see there’s an ecosystem here, due to the out-of-equilibrium atmosphere. They could send interstellar probes to investigate. The Moon and the Earth Trojans have the greatest probability of a successful search by us, ET archeology. I suggest resources devoted to imaging of our Moon’s surface, the Earth Trojans and Earth co-orbitals, and for probe missions to the latter two. The SETA concept can be falsified: if we investigate these near-Earth objects and don’t find artifacts, the concept is disproven for this region. Close inspection of bodies in these regions, which may hold primordial remnants of our early solar system, yields concrete astronomical research.