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Life in the Universe

Could humans be the only intelligent beings in all the vastness of the universe? Or are we just one humble race, a member of a vast intergalactic fraternity of advanced civilizations? SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is the scientific quest to answer these great unknowns. As of now all we have are questions, but we know the answers, when they come, could transform our world. Since the day it was formed in 1980, The Planetary Society has been there to support the search.

And what about other life? Is there -- or was there ever -- anything else alive in our solar system? Did microbes once spring to life in oases on early Mars, or around the undersea volcanic vents of Europa or Enceladus?  Could life have originated on Mars and been transported to Earth? We've never detected evidence for anything living elsewhere than our own fragile planet. Are we alone?

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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Reobservations Report No. 5: First Observation Session Completed at Arecibo

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/18 11:00 CST

The SETI@home team has completed the first of its three 8-hour observation session at Arecibo, designed to revisit the most promising candidate signals detected so far by SETI@home.

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Reobservations Report No. 4: Results in Real Time

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/17 11:00 CST

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.

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Reobservations Report No. 3: Selecting the Finalist Candidates

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/14 11:00 CST

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.

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