Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
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.
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.
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.
Candidate signals sent in by users around the world will be quickly analyzed and compared to existing signals.
As [email protected] 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.
BOINC stands for the “Berkeley Online Infrastructure for Network Computing.” Its purpose is to spread the credo of distributed computing beyond [email protected], 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.
Faster and more regular sky surveys, at an increased sensitivity and broader bandwidth, will push the boundaries of SETI to new and unexplored territories.
It has been more than a year since the [email protected] 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.
[email protected] and BOINC are gradually converging, and the benefits for both are substantial. While [email protected] enjoys the increased flexibility of the BOINC platform, it brings to BOINC something of inestimable value to a distributed computing project: millions of [email protected] users, willing to use their computers' processing power for the advancement of scientific research.
[email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.
After getting bumped off the telescope last week to make way for Solar flare observations, [email protected] Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer and his crew will spend 14 hours today observing the locations of [email protected]'s most promising candidate signals, as well as a few other interesting locations.
[email protected]'s plans to reobserve its most promising candidate signals were interrupted today by the unexpected intervention of a Solar flare.
[email protected] 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.
For the first time during the reobservations, Werthimer and his crew will have use of another recorder. This is Arecibo's
In the next few days, [email protected] 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 [email protected]'s most promising candidate signals.
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 [email protected] 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.