Skip to comments.SETI Live: How You Can Help Find Alien Civilizations on Your PC
Posted on 03/10/2012 11:59:05 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Got some spare time today? How about putting aside that game of Bejeweled Blitz and instead lend a hand in what could be the most important discovery of all time? Its no joke the people behind the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project have partnered with TED (Technology Entertainment Design) to create a website where anyone can log on and start searching for aliens.
Called SETI Live, the new project reduces the hunt for intelligent life on other planets to a kind of game sort of a mix between Foursquare and Wheres Waldo. Once you log on and take a brief tutorial, the site flashes snapshots of radio-signal data. Then its your job to identify any suspicious patterns you may spot a straight line among a sea of random streaks could be ET trying to say hello. Do it long enough and youll earn special badges.
The SETI program searches the heavens for extraterrestrials via radio telescopes, examining tiny slices of the sky, one at a time, for signals that might have been produced by a civilization elsewhere in the galaxy. This generates mountains of radio-signal data to sift through too much for the SETI program to handle itself, especially since public funding has been virtually nonexistent for the past 20 years, and securing private investment has been a challenge as well.
You may have heard of SETI@Home an app that anyone can download that will lend their PCs processing power to SETI when its not being used. Whereas that program is passive, SETI Live is a way for enthusiasts to actively help in the search for the answer to the question, Are we alone? It also has the bonus of not requiring any software installation.
SEE ALSO: SETI Resumes Search for Alien Life
SETI Live was conceived as part of the TED Prize program, which gives $100,000 every year to reward a specific vision from the worlds leading entrepreneurs, innovators and entertainers to change the world. SETI leader Jill Tarter won the prize in 2009, wishing for a way to empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company. Zooniverse, which backs several citizen science projects, also helped build SETI Live.
In our brief hands-on, we found the tutorial to be a little vague at times, but thankfully short. We got the hang of spotting patterns pretty quickly, though, and blazed through several data screens in the hunt for aliens. It gets boring mighty fast, though it would be served better if they could somehow mix up the data or activities, or even simply change the color of some of the screens. Be warned: it doesnt appear to be compatible with Google Chrome (Firefox had no problems).
Still, its a promising project, and were sure there are thousands of astronomy enthusiasts who will line up to participate. What do you think of SETI Live? And how could it be improved? Have your say in the comments.
A Q-tip and a petri dish?
How about just tipping the keyboard and shaking?
I signed up for this a long time ago when they first brought it out. Its worth it and it is neat.
This is how it works:
BUMP! Long-time supporter of SETI and Drs Drake and Shostak!
Having been a ham radio operator for over 50 years, I embraced SETI as a low budget way for us to be watching for some intelligence containing signal from the far reaches of the universe.
It was maybe 1958 when Popular Electronics ran a piece about how that year was a good time to start looking, based on the fact that high power VHF TV signals had started about 22 years in the past, and the nearest star that might have planets was 11 light years away.
It was then time to be looking for some reply.
While we have yet to receive anything from ET, I think SETI is the best low budget way to keep an ear to space.
I personally do not believe in ET, at least not any of the gibberish that they are here and zipping all around Earth.
I would not, however, rule out the possibility that they exist somewhere in the universe, most likely dozens to hundreds of light years away.
My apologies to you Kook to Kook fans.
I happen to be listening to it now, as I find some interesting info there, as well as a lot of good amusement.
Send more chuck berry!
Just what is it they are listening for? How would they recognize a “message” if they found one?
Now we know what Kucinich will be doing.
Being the party pooper is a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it..... The idea of anybody using radio waves or electromagnetic radiation of any sort to communicate over stellar or cosmic distances is idiotic and nobody with any brains or talent would ever do it. That wold be like trying to communicate with Germans by splashing pebbles in NY harbor and hoping the Germans at Bremen could read the message on the ripple waves when they got there.
The alien radio signals wouldn't necessarily be communication signals (i.e. "messages") - they could instead be simply technological artifacts, e.g., unintentional by-products of some other technological activity - just as a wisp of smoke over the horizon or the sound of hammering is not an attempt on the part of your distant neighbor to converse with anyone.
I as a MARS Director in the late 60s. We handled many MARS messages from outta space! There was even a “FOOT” message in July of 69!
I’m not sure that finding, or more to the point being found, by an ET civilization would be a good thing.
Broadcast signals are finally reaching alien worlds from Earth, unfortunately, it’s “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Dating Game”....the invasion fleet is on it’s way to obliterate us before we spread.
I guess it could be a fun diversion, but probably not useful to the actual discovery. I’m leery of any of the “programs” out there that want to access/use my computer for some “noble” cause. I do a lot to keep others FROM accessing me.
I can find “alien” (pseudo)”civilizations” just by driving down the road. The aliens usually scatter when I roll down the window and yell, “ICE!”
You, me and Stephen Hawking agree on this.
The much more important question is and always has been: WHY are we here? Why do we exist in the first place? For what reason? Who created life forms? Why?
And an even greater question is why is OUR life span so incredibly short as contrasted with the life span of the 'known' universe??? 70 years vs Trillions? What's that about??
Even if we did or were contacted by an alien life form it still would not answer the questions above. So we're here, we exist and we die. Swell. So my ethereal soul is supposed to linger in a heavenly state for trillions of years,...and then what? The whole thing is just too weird.
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