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targeted search

A search that involves aiming observation equipment at specific locations or objects in the sky and tracking these over extended periods of time. This contrasts with an all-sky survey. Targeted searches are used, for example, in the search for extrasolar planets and in some SETI programs, such as Project Phoenix. Targeted SETI is well-suited to large, steerable radio telescopes with their narrow bandwidths and high sensitivities. Providing the guess is right, a targeted search offers the greatest likelihood of success. On the other hand, it involves making assumptions which, if wrong, would result in more interesting objects or signals being missed.

Related entry

   • target stars

Related category

   • SETI