ALIEN-hunters could have been searching for ET in completely the WRONG way for years according to a major organisation hoping to find life in the galaxy.
For decades they have been scanning the skies using telescopes pointed at specific locations hoping to pick up radio signal messages from other civilizations.
Now The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute wants to focus on capturing tiny laser flashes from much larger areas in outer space using camera observatories.
The institute explained: «Until now, SETI experiments, whether listening for a radio transmitter or searching for a high-powered laser, have assumed that ET is on-the-air all the time, so that wherever the instrument is pointed, the signal will be there.
«Laser SETI is the first experiment to circumvent this assumption.
«Laser SETI could find a very short ping from anywhere in the night sky.
«Indeed, it could detect a laser flash as short as a millisecond or less; and one that might not repeat for days, weeks, or even longer — or ever.»
Laser can in theory be used to send message between the stars because they can be «focused into extremely tight beams and tuned into monochromatic frequencies that can penetrate the dust and gas of space», reported New Atlas.
SETI, a non-profit organisation started in 1984 which employs more than 70 scientists, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for two detectors.
It hopes eventually to build 14 camera observatories to continually monitor the skies.
These wide-angle optic cameras will be trained to seek flashes in the sky at a rate of 1,000 frames per second.