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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

Reobservations Report No. 4: Results in Real Time

Amir Alexander • March 17, 2003

SETI@home scientists will have to wait for several weeks for the full analysis of the data collected during the reobservations. But even while the observations are going on at Arecibo, they will already have a good idea if they have found something significant.

Reobservations Report No. 3: Selecting the Finalist Candidates

Amir Alexander • March 14, 2003

For three successive days SETI@home will have use of the giant Arecibo radio telescope to revisit the most promising candidate signals detected since the project was launched in 1999. SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer and his team put together a list of the "best" 200 locations in the sky where promising candidates have previously been detected.

Reobservations Report No. 2: Reobserving, Recording, and Reprocessing

Amir Alexander • March 12, 2003

For the first time during the reobservations, Werthimer and his crew will have use of another recorder. This is Arecibo's "radar" recorder, built for those occasions when the giant dish is used as a radar, bouncing electromagnetic signals off planets, moons, and asteroids.

Reobservations Report No. 1: Shifting Gears at Arecibo

Amir Alexander • March 10, 2003

In the next few days, SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer, along with team members Eric Korpela and Paul Demorest, will head down to Arecibo in Puerto Rico. There, at the site of the largest radio telescope in the world, they will begin a new chapter in the short history of the project: the reobservation of SETI@home's most promising candidate signals.

SETI@home Listens to the Dying Gasps of Black Hole

Amir Alexander • November 05, 2001

If we were to listen to radio transmissions from space, we should be able to hear the dying gasps of black holes. As it turns out, we are listening, or at least the SETI@home receiver is. Perched above the giant Arecibo dish, it is systematically surveying a large portion of the sky, listening to the signals coming from space.

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