SETI astronomers are looking for signs of extraterrestrial communications within the vicinity of a large stellar explosion. It’s one of the most destructive events in the known universe – the demise of a supergiant star in the form of a colossal explosion of cosmic proportions – but what if such an event could prove to be an opportunity for someone in a far off part of our galaxy to get our attention ?This is a theory currently being explored by astronomers at the SETI Institute who are investigating whether or not a nearby supernova – SN 2023ixf – could be acting as a beacon of sorts, providing the perfect moment for members of a distant alien civilization to attempt to communicate by taking advantage of the fact that we are likely to be looking in that direction. Efforts are now underway to look for potentially habitable worlds in that particular part of the sky and this will then be followed up by several months of observations using the Allen Telescope Array in California and the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia to look for signs of alien technosignatures.
Of course, the likelihood of finding something is slim – even if someone was there, it would take some impressive calculations to time a signal to coincide with when we would see the light from the supernova.
That said, it is not outside the realm of possibility that a sufficiently advanced alien civilization could pull off such a stunt.