Japan Scans Skies For Alien Life
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Love and Light.
First Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 . 9:08pm -->Last Update: Tuesday, March 1, 2005. 9:08pm (AEDT)
Signs of life: Japanese researchers are looking for light and radio waves. [File photo] (Getty Images)
Japan scans skies for alien life
Two Japanese observatories have started a probe to find signs of extraterrestrial life using radio and optical telescopes, in Japan's first government-backed search for aliens.
"I don't think it would be any wonder if life like us exists somewhere else as space is vast," Mitsumi Fujishita, radioastronomy professor at Kyushu Tokai University, said.
The five-day search is being done jointly at the Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory, and the state-run Mizusawa Astrogeodynamics Observatory in northern Japan.
The researchers say there have been earlier Japanese efforts to detect signs of aliens but this is the first such search involving a state-run organisation.
The Mizusawa observatory is using a radio telescope with a diameter of 10 metres to try to find radio waves.
Rhe Nishi-Harima observatory, with a two-metre reflector telescope, aims to detect light.
They will focus on the area near the Hydra constellation where a US researcher detected radio waves in 1988.
Another researcher says it "will be very difficult to find signs as we don't know which radio waves would come at what time or from where."
"Even if they cannot detect anything, however, it is important to find out what it (the lack of detection) means scientifically," he said.
Japan is drafting an ambitious space program, with a goal of a manned station on the moon by 2025, after successfully sending into space a satellite last Saturday.
The launch came 15 months after a similar unmanned launch failed disastrously.
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