Optical SETI

METI International’s Optical SETI research looks for brief but powerful laser signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. Traditional Optical SETI projects have been limited to a few isolated, large telescopes. In contrast, METI International’s Optical SETI program will coordinate a global network of modest-sized Optical SETI observatories, helping serious amateur astronomers and professional astronomers to develop expertise in Optical SETI. Recently we observed the anomalous Kepler star KIC 8462852, as described in our paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Graduate and undergraduate science and engineering students can apply for our summer internship program to develop their technical expertise by contributing to the ongoing development of the Boquete Optical SETI Observatory in Panama. For additional information about our summer 2016 internship program, please see our internship application webpage.

As additional observatories in Europe and beyond are added to the network, participating astronomers will develop a protocol for real-time follow-up of any candidate signals that are detected. This protocol will help coordinate the network’s observatories as they seek to confirm whether candidate signals located at one site can be found by other observatories as well. 

Member Observatories 


Boquete Optical SETI Observatory
Province of Chiriquí, Panama


Owl Observatory
Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, USA