Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence signals in astronomical spectra, including existing data
The main purpose of this article is to make Astronomers aware that Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence can be carried out by analyzing standard astronomical spectra, including those they already have taken. Simplicity is the outstanding advantage of a search in spectra. The spectra can be analyzed by simple eye inspection or a few lines of code that uses Fourier transform software. Theory, confirmed by published experiments, shows that periodic signals in spectra can be easily generated by sending light pulses separated by constant time intervals. While part of this article, like all articles on searches for ETI, is highly speculative the basic physics is sound. In particular, technology now available on Earth could be used to send signals having the required energy to be detected at a target located 1000 light years away. Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) could use these signals to make us aware of their existence. For an ETI, the technique would also have the advantage that the signals could be detected both in spectra and searches for intensity pulses like those currently carried out on Earth.