• SETI to resume hunt for extraterrestrial life following successful fundraiser

    In April, the future was looking dim for the SETI Institute's search for signs of extraterrestrial life, but a successful fundraiser means that some of its most key space-scanning equipment is back in action. After a drought of funding, SETI was forced to take the set of dishes known as the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) offline. The nonprofit immediately began a more terrestrial search for funding, and as of today has surpassed its short-term goal by raising $210,000.

    The funding will go toward keeping the ATA antennas online. Unlike traditional optical telescopes, which collect photographic data, the Allen Telescope Array monitors space for extraterrestrial radio signals. The array, located in Hat Creek, California is comprised of 42 individual 20-foot-wide dishes and is operated by the University of California, Berkeley's Radio Astronomy Lab.

    The bulk of the initial funding for the construction for the Allen Telescope Array came from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and a number of other famous names in the tech world have contributed to SETI in the past. This round even received a donation from Jodie Foster, who famously portrayed fictional SETI scientist Ellie Arroway in the 1997 film Contact.

    The new round of funds will go to the continued operation and maintenance of the Hat Creek array, which should be back online scanning for non-random space signals within a few months, though it's unclear how long this influx of cash can keep the telescopes in operation.

    According to SETI, "There are potentially billions of locations outside our solar system that may host life. With our current technology, we have the ability to discover evidence of cosmic habitation where life has evolved and developed to a technological level at least as advanced as our own." You can still donate through the SETIStars campaign to up our collective odds of finding intelligent life beyond Earth within our lifetime.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. mr. nails's Avatar
      mr. nails -
      I vote good for them. Keeping themselves up and running from a fundraiser was a smart idea. Need to plant some of these ATA's on the moon. Thanks for all your hard work guys. Now, find me some Aliens? !
    1. darkmawl's Avatar
      darkmawl -
      I really doubt this project will bear fruit, but still think that it's a good project.