Our apologies but, while the whole site is very new, this page isn’t even what we’d call “v1” yet. But we’ve wanted to publish this site for a long time, so we chose to prioritize access to what we do have over that which isn’t yet done.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is, according to Wikipedia, “a collective term for scientific searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life.” Optical SETI is a subset of those searches looking for visible light signals, often presumed to be lasers because a narrow beam is essential if you’re going to send light a long distance efficiently.
Beamed Energy Propulsion
One assumption often made by SETI searches is that the other civilization will be trying to contact us, but that isn’t the only reason to send signals bright enough to be seen from astronomical distances.
Meteors are rocks, bits of dust, and other flotsam that enter Earth’s atmosphere and either burn up from friction or impact the ground. They can be rocks left over from the formation of the solar system or human-created objects such at defunct satellites.
One phenomenon regularly caught by meteor camera networks, like the CAMS Network, is called a “sky flash.” If you watch carefully in the video below, you’ll see a star appear to blink into and out of existence very rapidly. The best theory we’ve seen to explain these posits a meteor travelling straight towards the observer, but specifically one that’s too dim to be seen normally, i.e. from the side. If all the light produced by vaporizing in the atmosphere is stacked up along your line of sight, then it would appear much brighter. Meteors get exponentially more numerous as their size decreases and, as that happens, it takes less time to burn up. Hence, these events would be happening all time, but only be visible to a small footprint on the ground and be very easy to miss. But good science is more than just a good idea that fits the facts–we need evidence! And LaserSETI is the perfect instrument to get it.