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Searching the SETI haystack
Machine learning will be paramount in the Big Data era, but serendipitous observations also matter.
Image Credit: Breakthrough Listen

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The search for extraterrestrial intelligence is like looking for a needle in a haystack – that unequivocal indication of intelligence in the morass of astrophysical noise coming to us from the universe. Steve Croft reviews the field.

 Radio astronomers met last autumn to consider how new radio observatories and techniques might change the odds. Steve Croft from the University of California at Berkeley discusses the approaches advocated at the meeting, from paying attention to serendipitous observations to machine learning – calling on both next generation observatories such as the Square Kilometre Array and smaller, all-sky observatories, to include search strategies important for SETI.

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