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SETI

At the core of our explorations is the quest to know if life exists beyond Earth. The Planetary Society is a leader in the search for life on other worlds, whether intelligent or microbial. Our active projects: SETI Optical Telescope - Looking for laser signals beamed across the vastness of space. SETI Radio Searches - Huge radio dishes sift through nature's random noise for beacons from other civilizations.

SETI Projects

Optical SETI

In 2006, The Planetary Society unveiled the first All-Sky Optical SETI (OSETI) telescope. Funded by The Planetary Society and operated by a Harvard University team, it's completely dedicated to capturing that one pulse of light that might be a communication.

SETI Radio Searches

One faint signal from light-years away could prove we're not alone in this universe. The Planetary Society is committed to finding that signal -- tirelessly surveying the skies with our Southern SETI project and our Optical SETI Telescope. You can be a part of these projects and help us keep the search going.

SETI@home

SETI@home is the most successful public participation science project in history, and it is dedicated to searching for a signal from the stars. The Planetary Society made it all possible.

Project Updates

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 13: Galaxies, the Universe, Life

Discover the Universe including the Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy, galaxies, life and more in this video of class 13 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Cosmos with Cosmos Episode 12: Encyclopedia Galactica

Cosmos returns in fine form in its penultimate episode. Sagan explores the historical and scientific precedents for the search for extraterrestrial life (SETI) and our human desires to not be alone in the universe.

Planetary Radio: Looking for Intelligence in a Flash

An update on the Planetary Society's improved Optical SETI search, with Harvard's Paul Horowitz and Curtis Mead.

Our Improved Optical Search for ET

The Planetary Society Optical SETI (OSETI) Telescope was successfully upgraded and fully tested, and is now fully operational looking for aliens. Here are some updates on the performance and progress. In summary, the upgraded telescope is performing just as hoped and is scanning the skies.

Optical SETI Gets a Major Upgrade

The Planetary Society Optical SETI Telescope in Harvard, Massachusetts just got a major upgrade of its electronics. The telescope, which has been operating the only all-sky optical SETI survey since its opening in 2006, is run by Harvard University Professor Paul Horowitz and his team. The telescope scans the sky every clear night with a 72-inch primary mirror, looking for laser pulses as short as one billionth of a second that could be transmitted by distant extraterrestrials. When observing, it has been able to process 1 terabit (trillion bits) of data every second, that’s as much as in all the books in print every second.

One Man's Quest for SETI's Most Promising Signal

A review of Robert H. Gray's "The Elusive Wow: Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence."

SETI@home Following Up on Kepler Discoveries

Remember SETI@home? The ground-breaking computing project is now taking a look at candidate Earth-like planets that have been detected by NASA's Kepler space telescope.

Citizen Science projects for Planetary Science: Get Involved! Do Science!

Citizen Science projects let volunteers easily contribute to active science programs. They're useful when there is so much data it overwhelms computing algorithms (if they exist) or the scientific research team attempting to process it.

Optical SETI's Growing Capabilities

Often, the phrase “next steps” has been known to describe things that don't actually happen. But for The Planetary Society's All-sky Optical SETI, it's different. Here's what's happened in the last year.

Astropulse: A Fresh Look at the Skies in Search of E.T.

If you were a member of an alien civilization trying to communicate across the immeasurable distances of space, how would you go about it?

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