In an effort to detect the radio emissions from a hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligence, it helps to know where to look. Space, after all, is a very big place and the chances of accidentally stumbling across an alien television signal is very low.
So, using data from the Kepler space telescope, astronomers are becoming more focused on "listening" for radio signals coming from stars known (or at least thought) to have planets orbiting them. And it seems the first "candidate" signals have been detected!
But before you start popping the "we've discovered ET!" champagne corks, this first signal is most likely terrestrial in origin.
"We've started searching our Kepler SETI observations and our analyses have generated some of our first candidate signals," scientists of the University of California, Berkeley announced on Friday.
Sadly, the first candidate signals aren't lucky detections of alien radio transmissions, they're "undoubtedly examples of terrestrial radio frequency interference (RFI)."