The [email protected] team has begun distributing new data from the recent Stellar Countdown that targeted possible signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. The Stellar Countdown run at the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico re-observed 216 promising radio sources identified by [email protected] as potential candidates for hypothetical extraterrestrial intelligent signals.
The Planetary Society is the founding and principal sponsor of [email protected], which is based at the University of California, Berkeley. [email protected] harnesses the computing power of four million volunteers to analyze data from the Arecibo radio telescope. Designed as an innovative screensaver program, [email protected] sends packets of raw data to be processed in the personal computers of volunteers around the world.
While the team discovered no evidence of a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization during a quick, real-time analysis at Arecibo, they are now ready to divide the data into work units that will be analyzed in more detail by computers around the world in the homes and offices of [email protected] participants.
"Our [email protected] team collected the data, and now the public will help analyze it," said Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society. "That hands-on public participation in an exciting scientific project is what makes this program unique."
The candidates selected for re-observation were deemed the most interesting radio sources found out of the billions detected since the distributed computing project began in May 1999. Dan Werthimer, Chief Scientist of [email protected], led the team at Arecibo, which observed candidate radio sources from [email protected] as well as at extrasolar planetary systems, nearby sun-like stars, and nearby galaxies.
The Arecibo Observatory is a National Science Foundation facility that is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, which is operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the NSF.
About The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society has inspired millions of people to explore other worlds and seek other life. With the mission to empower the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration, its international membership makes the non-governmental Planetary Society the largest space interest group in the world. Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980. Bill Nye, a longtime member of The Planetary Society's Board, serves as CEO.