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Blog Archive


From SETI@home to Hominid Fossils: Citizen Cyberscience Reshapes Research Landscape

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2008/01/15 11:00 CST | 1 comments

In the beginning was SETI@home, the first large-scale volunteer computing project, launched in 1999 with seed money from The Planetary Society. Within months the project had millions of volunteers around the world joining to form the most powerful computer network ever assembled.

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Planetary System Detected Around SETI@home Target Star

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2007/11/08 11:00 CST

A fully formed planetary system, with five different planets of varying sizes and orbits has been found, orbiting a star more than 40 light years away. Significantly, it is the very same star, 55 Cancri, that was one of the chief targets of the SETI@home reobservations at Arecibo in March 2003.

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Planetary Society's Optical SETI Telescope Offers Online View of Night sky

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2007/10/30 12:00 CDT

The Planetary Society's Optical SETI Telescope was built solely to search for possible light signals from alien civilizations. Located at Oak Ridge Observatory in Harvard, Massachusetts, it is the first dedicated Optical SETI telescope in the world. Its 72-inch primary mirror also makes it larger than any optical telescope in the U.S. east of the Mississippi river.

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Keeping an Ear to the Center of the Galaxy, Southern SETI Prepares for Great Leap Forward

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2007/02/26 11:00 CST

Located in the southern part of the continent of South America, Southern SETI has a continuous view of densest star-fields in our galaxy. And, since 1990, it has been sponsored and supported by The Planetary Society.

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With Observations in Full Swing, Team Prepares to Remove "Sunglasses" from Telescope

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2007/02/26 11:00 CST

Winter time is observing time at the Oak Ridge Observatory in Massachusetts, when humidity is low and the sky is often clear. And so it has been for the Optical SETI telescope, which opened its doors in April 2006.

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Telescope Goes "Semi-Automatic"

Posted by Andrew Howard on 2006/10/20 12:00 CDT

Andrew Howard talks about the "semi-automated" nature of the observations from the Optical SETI telescope.

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With Multi-Beam Receiver, SETI@home Takes Giant Step Forward

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2006/08/14 12:00 CDT

In seven intense days spent at the radio telescope Chief scientist Dan Werthimer and his colleagues completely overhauled the way SETI data is gathered at Arecibo, and ensured that SETI@home will henceforth enjoy the benefits of gathering data with the most advanced equipment anywhere in the world.

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Telescope shows its Amazing Capabilities

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2006/07/11 12:00 CDT

During a few observation sessions in late April, the new Optical SETI Telescope was already demonstrating its amazing capabilities. Over three nights, the telescope completed 17 hours of observation, under the direction of Paul Horowitz and his team of Harvard graduate students. During that time, the telescope observed 1% of the sky, looking for the briefest flashes of light coming from outer space.

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Searching for E.T. and the Cure for Cancer:The Planetary Society Helps Trigger a Computing Revolution

Posted by Charlene AndersonAmir Alexander on 2006/07/07 12:00 CDT

Planetary Society members truly have helped pioneer new techniques in the conduct of science. Our initial investment has returned amazing results that will continue to deliver benefits over years to come.

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The Planetary Society Optical SETI Telescope Opens

Posted by Bruce Betts on 2006/04/28 12:00 CDT

On April 11, 2006, a new era dawned in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) with the dedication and beginning of operations of The Planetary Society Optical SETI Telescope in Harvard, Massachusetts. It is the first devoted optical SETI telescope in the world. The telescope was constructed by Paul Horowitz and his group at Harvard University using funding from Planetary Society members.

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Analyzing Signals in Real Time

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2005/07/07 12:00 CDT

Candidate signals sent in by users around the world will be quickly analyzed and compared to existing signals.

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IBM's World Community Grid: A New SETI@home-Inspired Venture

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/11/24 11:00 CST

As SETI@home has demonstrated, untold millions around the world are ready and eager to donate their computer time for the advancement of knowledge and the benefit of humankind. The story of distributed computing is only just beginning.

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Scientists from Different Fields Line Up to Join the BOINC Family

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/08/24 12:00 CDT

BOINC stands for the “Berkeley Online Infrastructure for Network Computing.” Its purpose is to spread the credo of distributed computing beyond SETI@home, by making it easy for researchers in all fields to launch their own projects, and tap into the enormous computing capacity of personal computers around the world.

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Multi-Beam Receiver Promises New Vistas for SETI Research

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/08/04 12:00 CDT

Faster and more regular sky surveys, at an increased sensitivity and broader bandwidth, will push the boundaries of SETI to new and unexplored territories.

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Pulses, Triplets, and Gaussians: Rescoring the Reobservations

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2004/05/17 12:00 CDT

It has been more than a year since the SETI@home crew spent a hectic week at Arecibo, pointing the giant radio telescope at some of SETI's most promising targets. Much of the data collected during the reobservations has since been repackaged as work units, and sent out to users around the world for analysis.

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New and Improved SETI@home will Form the Backbone of Distributed Computing Network

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/09/25 12:00 CDT

SETI@home and BOINC are gradually converging, and the benefits for both are substantial. While SETI@home enjoys the increased flexibility of the BOINC platform, it brings to BOINC something of inestimable value to a distributed computing project: millions of SETI@home users, willing to use their computers' processing power for the advancement of scientific research.

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Analyzing the Reobservations

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/07/18 12:00 CDT

SETI@home chief scientist Dan Werthimer and his team went back to Arecibo to reobserve the most promising candidate signals detected by the project so far. Unlike most of the year, when SETI@home piggy-backs on the regular operations of the telescope, this time the Werthimer's crew had the full use of the resources of the giant dish.

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Reobservations Report No. 8: Beyond the Countdown: SETI@home Makes Plans for the Future

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/27 11:00 CST

SETI@home's Stellar Countdown has come to an end at the Arecibo Radio Observatory. All in all the Stellar countdown observed 227 promising locations in the sky. Within the next few weeks all the data collected and recorded will be processed by SETI@home users around to world.

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Reobservations Report No. 7: On Last Day at Arecibo, SETI@home Turns to Distant Planetary System

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/24 11:00 CST

After getting bumped off the telescope last week to make way for Solar flare observations, SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer and his crew will spend 14 hours today observing the locations of SETI@home's most promising candidate signals, as well as a few other interesting locations.

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Reobservations Report No. 6: Solar Intervention Postpones SETI@home Reobservations

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/19 11:00 CST

SETI@home's plans to reobserve its most promising candidate signals were interrupted today by the unexpected intervention of a Solar flare.

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