For thousands of years, people look to the sky in search of their fellow brothers in mind. Still in the works who lived in the II century AD writer and philosopher Lucian of Samosata describes a meeting of people with the residents of our celestial neighbor – the moon. Later, during the Renaissance, after the discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo and other scientists, this topic is again becoming popular.
For thousands of years, people look to the sky in search of their fellow brothers in mind. Still in the works who lived in the II century AD writer and philosopher Lucian of Samosata describes a meeting of people with the residents of our celestial neighbor – the moon. Later, during the Renaissance, after the discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo and other scientists, this topic is again becoming popular. Go to the moon in search of new discoveries sent hero Cyrano de Bergerac, the plurality of inhabited worlds is also mentioned in the writings of Giordano Bruno. Later, Voltaire in one of his works will affect the theme of life on other worlds. But these were purely theoretical assumptions. Paucity of information about the structure of the universe, the inability to verify the theoretical assumptions in practice – all this made the search for life beyond Earth is just playing mind for writers and philosophers.
The events raised the question of finding extraterrestrial life to a new level occurred in the twentieth century. Launch of Sputnik, the beginning of manned space flight and the first launches unmanned interplanetary stations to celestial bodies in our solar system have made it possible to begin searching for extraterrestrial civilizations directly “on the ground.” Alas, it soon became clear enough that in the vicinity of the Earth and there is no intelligent life can not be. Not met the expectations of either Venus or Mars that are too harsh for the existence of intelligent life on them. It became clear that seek brothers on reason will have a distant star systems, for many light-years from Earth.
In 1959, the scientific journal Nature published an article two astronomers, Cocconi and Morrison, entitled “The search for interstellar communications.” It stated that the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations is possible to set, listening to the radio range for search for signals of artificial origin. In particular, it was pointed out the promise of such searches at 21 cm (emission line of neutral hydrogen). And the following year Frank Drake started the search for such signals, the program SETI, sending a radio telescope at two nearby stars for us to Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani. At a time when enthusiasm for the early successes in space exploration was unusually high, many people thought that the discovery of aliens is just a matter of several years.
Since then, it took half a century. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), no traces of other civilizations so far not been found. And the enthusiasm of space has long been replaced by a much more pragmatic attitude towards the cosmos. But nonetheless, the search for intelligent life in the universe continues. Moreover, they are carried out in different directions. If I may say so, the attempt to solve the problem of cavalry assaults has been replaced by a serious, planned siege of the fortress.