Starry Messages: Searching for Signatures of Interstellar Archaeology
Richard A. Carrigan, Jr.,Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory*, Batavia, IL 60510, USAcarrigan@fnal.gov630-840-8755SummarySearching for signatures of cosmic-scale archaeological artifacts such as Dysonspheres or Kardashev civilizations is an interesting alternative to conventionalSETI. Uncovering such an artifact does not require the intentional transmission of a signal on the part of the original civilization. This type of search is called
. The detection of intelligence elsewhere in the Universe with interstellar archaeology or SETIwould have broad implications for science. For example, the constraints of theanthropic principle would have to be loosened if a different type of intelligencewas discovered elsewhere. A variety of interstellar archaeology signatures arediscussed including non-natural planetary atmospheric constituents, stellar dopingwith isotopes of nuclear wastes, Dyson spheres, as well as signatures of stellarand galactic-scale engineering. The concept of a Fermi bubble due to interstellarmigration is introduced in the discussion of galactic signatures. These potentialinterstellar archaeological signatures are classified using the Kardashev scale. Amodified Drake equation is used to evaluate the relative challenges of findingvarious sources. With few exceptions interstellar archaeological signatures areclouded and beyond current technological capabilities. However SETI for so-called cultural transmissions and planetary atmosphere signatures are withinreach.
Interstellar archaeology, Dyson spheres, Kardashev scale, SETI,Drake equationACKNOWLEDGEMENT*Operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11359 withthe United States Department of Energy.