On This Day in Space! April 11, 1960: ‘Project Ozma’ begins search for alien life

On April 11, 1960, astronomers began the first scientific experiment that would search for extraterrestrial life.

Known as Project Ozma, this experiment looked for interstellar radio transmissions coming from other star systems. This was the first time that radio astronomy was used to look for aliens. The effort was led by an astronomer named Frank Drake at Cornell University. He used an 85-foot telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia to check out two nearby stars called Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani. He first pointed the telescope at Tau Ceti, but he didn’t detect any signals. 

When he pointed the telescope at Epsilon Eridani, he did see a signal, but it turned out to be a false alarm. He later found out that the signal was created by military radar equipment and was definitely not aliens.

Source: https://www.space.com/39251-on-this-day-in-space.html