Is Anyone Out There?

Is Anyone Out There?

The Scientific Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Book - 1992
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
A pioneer in the study of extraterrestrial intelligence chronicles his thirty-year search for intelligent life in the universe, which culminated in the NASA-backed SETI Microwave Observing Project.

Blackwell North Amer
In 1960, an intrepid astrophysicist at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, set out to tune an ear to the noise from the deepest points in the universe. Armed with a landmark paper in the scientific journal Nature and his own startling observations from his graduate school days at Harvard, Frank Drake wrangled many precious hours of the radio telescope's time to begin his search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Drake's labor (which he named Project Ozma after the princess in L. Frank Baum's story Ozma of Oz) not only proved that we already possess the means to detect other intelligent beings in the cosmos, but yielded a suspected signal from a distant star. Although the signal turned out to be from our world, Drake parlayed the excitement generated by Project Ozma into a lifelong mission, setting a goal that could change the course of history - the scientific confirmation that we are not alone.
In a captivating and accessible narrative, Drake and writer Dava Sobel take the reader to remote observatories around the world and behind the closed doors of international conferences dedicated to detect extraterrestrial intelligence. Some of the greatest names in science - Carl Sagan, Otto Struve, Philip Morrison, Melvin Calvin, Edward Purcell, Francis Crick, Bernard Oliver - have worked with Drake to untangle both the practical elements of detecting alien radio signals and the philosophical questions raised by the existence of other sentient beings in the universe. What do we stand to gain from interstellar contact? Which facts about ourselves do we want to communicate to extraterrestrials? How should we respond to a signal from another civilization? While maintaining an absorbing anecdotal charm, Is Anyone Out There? grapples with these questions and thoughtfully provides a clear explanation of the scientific ideas and technology that define the search.
Thirty years after Project Ozma, supported by data from many additional searches and new evidence for the existence of other planetary systems, Drake's hard work has established the search for extraterrestrial intelligence as a global enterprise, on a par with spacecraft missions to explore the planets. Coinciding with the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus's landing in the new world, in October 1992 the NASA-SETI Microwave Observing Project will focus the world's most powerful radio telescopes on a comprehensive long-term quest for alien civilizations.
Replacing fiction with fact, Is Anyone Out There? is a fascinating chronicle of one man's dedication to pioneering a new field of study - the science of interstellar contact.

& Taylor

The author chronicles his thirty-year search for intelligent life in the universe, which culminated in the NASA-backed SETI Microwave Observing Project

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Delacorte Press, 1992.
ISBN: 9780385305327
Characteristics: xv, 272 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Sobel, Dava


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at JCLS

To Top