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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?

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

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/12 11:00 CST

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.

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Reobservations Report No. 1: Shifting Gears at Arecibo

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2003/03/10 11:00 CST

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.

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SETI@home Listens to the Dying Gasps of Black Hole

Posted by Amir Alexander on 2001/11/05 11:00 CST

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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