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Astronomers have proposed an improved method of searching for
intelligent extraterrestrial life using instruments like one now under
construction in Australia.
The Low Frequency Demonstrator (LFD) of the Mileura Wide-Field
Array (MWA), a facility for radio astronomy, theoretically could
detect Earth-like civilizations around any of the 1,000 nearest stars.
"Soon, we may be eavesdropping on signals from Galactic civiliza-
tions," says theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center
for Astrophysics (CfA).
"This is the first time in history that humans will be capable of
finding a civilization like ours among the stars."
Previous SETI programs would not have detected an Earth-like
The searches often looked for beacon-like signals deliberately
beamed across space.
Such beacons may not exist. Also, most radio SETI projects exam-
ined frequencies higher than 1 Gigahertz in order to avoid interfer-
ence from both Earth-based and natural cosmic sources.