Right now, radio telescopes are scanning the galaxy for a transmission from extraterrestrials. The SETI Institute and other organizations around the world have been listening for roughly half a century. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has become more important with the discovery of hundreds of new planets around distant stars. Somewhere out there, there could be another civilization.
The whole concept of SETI relies on the idea that extraterrestrials are transmitting signals into the universe. Mostly, it's assumed that these signals are deliberate attempts to communicate with other worlds. ET wants to talk to us. Or so we think. As with so many issues in SETI, there are plenty of questions and not enough answers.
We don't know if extraterrestrials are willing or able to talk to us. But we're even less sure about whether or not we should be talking to them. SETI has no problem with listening in to the universe, and even potentially eavesdropping on transmissions that were never meant to reach us. However, the SETI community is more divided on whether we should send our own messages, before or after we are contacted by extraterrestrials.That depends upon how close they are to us. To read more, click here.