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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

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

Amir Alexander • August 27, 2009

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

SERENDIP Takes a Great Leap Forward

Amir Alexander • May 26, 2009

Just when [email protected] is celebrating its 10th anniversary, its older brother, Project SERENDIP, is getting a general makeover.

Quake Catcher Network: [email protected] Spinoff Tracks Earth-Shakers

Amir Alexander • September 28, 2008

One of the youngest off-springs of [email protected] has been getting a great deal of attention recently. Known as the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN), this distributed computing project makes use of thousands of volunteers' computers to locate and track earthquakes.

From [email protected] to Hominid Fossils: Citizen Cyberscience Reshapes Research Landscape

Amir Alexander • January 15, 2008

In the beginning was [email protected], 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.

Planetary System Detected Around [email protected] Target Star

Amir Alexander • November 08, 2007

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 [email protected] reobservations at Arecibo in March 2003.

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

Bruce Betts • October 30, 2007

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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