What Will Happen If E.T. Phones Us?

Astronomer, Jill Tarter, the TED Prize–winning, former director of the world’s most ambitious search for alien life at the Center for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research, offers SETI’s 9-point plan should an extraterrestrial attempt to communicate with us.

Tarter-lo-rezJust over 30 years ago this month, E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial hit the big screen and made everyone feel warm and fuzzy about aliens with E.T.’s sweetly urgent message about wanting to “phone home.”

This summer, Hollywood alien fare paints a far gloomier picture with a deadly alien monster in After Earth, a zombie invasion in World Z, giant robots in Pacific Rim and more robot invaders in The World’s End.

So what do the experts really think?

We asked astronomer, Jill Tarter, the TED Prize–winning, former director of the world’s most ambitious search for alien life at the Center for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research, who we interviewed on How to Find Extraterrestrial Life for our book on success. Tarter gave us SETI’s 9-point plan should there be an extraterrestrial attempt of any kind to contact us: Continue reading “What Will Happen If E.T. Phones Us?”

Alien Hunter, Jill Tarter:
An Artist’s Interpretation

Mankind has been gazing up at the stars for hundreds of thousands of years, wondering, “Are we alone?” Astronomer Jill Tarter, one of the world’s leading alien hunters, has put this quest at the center of her life.

The Art of Doing Artist’s Interpretation project is a collaboration between us and imaginative artists we’ve chosen to depict the superachievers in our book.

Since we think artist Michael Wertz’s work is brilliant, we asked him to create a piece of art about one of our superachievers. Because of Wertz’s love of all things extraterrestrial—from his childhood pillowcase covered in cosmic Peter Max imagery to the Carpenters’ ode to space, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft”—he jumped at the chance to depict astronomer Jill Tarter, one the world’s most prominent alien hunters. (Chapter 15 in our book on “How to Find Extraterrestrial Life.”)

The term alien hunter might conjure up images of Roswellian conspiracy theorists or UFOlogists, scanning the skies for sleek hovering spaceships and little green men, but astronomer Jill Tarter is far from that. Tarter is a TED prize-winning leader at the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) where a team of scientists at the Hat Creek Observatory in Northern California operates a powerful telescope array in the world’s most technologically advanced search for signs of life in the universe. Continue reading “Alien Hunter, Jill Tarter:
An Artist’s Interpretation”