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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.

[email protected]

[email protected] 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

Arsenic and Deep Space?

Bill Nye • December 02, 2010

If you or I ingest arsenic, well...it doesn't go so well. If you are, on the other hand, a certain species of bacterium from Mono Lake, California, ingesting this seemingly toxic metal is simple enough.

Update from the [email protected] Workshop

Jon Lomberg • September 16, 2010

Frank Drake used the 85' radio telescope at Green Bank to conduct the first modern Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in 1960. Using a very simple receiver and no computers, he listened to each of two sunlike stars for 100 seconds. Call that unit 1 Ozma.

More from the [email protected] Workshop

Jon Lomberg • September 14, 2010

Today's sessions at the [email protected] conference stretched the mind as these multidisciplinary gatherings usually do.

Report from SETI workshop marking 50 years since Project Ozma

Jon Lomberg • September 12, 2010

Jon Lomberg repots from NRAO--the National Radio Astronomy Observatory-- in Greenbank, West Virginia on a SETI workshop marking the 50th anniversary of Project Ozma.

New Pulsar Discovery Shows Power of Citizen Scientists and Planetary Society Members

Charlene Anderson • August 12, 2010

Planetary Society members have reason to celebrate today, with the on-line publication in Science of the discovery of a new pulsar by three citizen-scientists working with [email protected], a descendant of the [email protected] project.

Optical SETI's Growing Capabilities

Paul Horowitz • October 28, 2009

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.

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