BeeOasis Step 2
The film ET warmed the hearts of millions of children and adults. It was funny and exciting. And it told a hopeful story about love and friendship. In one scene, ET points his finger to the sky. And he says, “ET phone home.” This simple phrase reminds us of the most important place in the universe — home. It also points to big questions. Where is home? Where do we come from? And why are we here?
The word “ET” comes from “extra-terrestrial.” “Extra” means outside and “terrestrial” means earth. So, an ET comes from outside earth. The film ET is science fiction. But some scientists are looking for real ETs. They want to find intelligent life outside earth. The movies Contact and 2001: A Space Odyssey tell of the search for an intelligent ET. In these films, humans make contact with aliens. But something is wrong here. In reality, we have no evidence for intelligent life in space.
But the search goes on. The SETI program is the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. SETI looks for intelligent messages coming from space. Real SETI scientists look for radio signals from space that show an intelligent code. For example, if a radio signal shows a complex mathematical problem or grammatical sentence, then it must come from an intelligent source. Scientists are also looking for simple (non-intelligent) life in space and nearby planets. They are hopeful. But today, we can only meet intelligent aliens in the movies. And the only place we can find intelligent life is at home — on planet earth.
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