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Laser SETI Funded

The SETI Institute’s Laser SETI campaign made it past the finish line. Many thanks to the many Centauri Dreams readers who helped to make this happen. All sky, all the time SETI should produce astrophysical discoveries we haven’t imagined, and of course we’ll keep hoping for that intriguing transient that turns out to point to extraterrestrial intelligence. Exciting times ahead!


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shaun August 20, 2017, 11:04

    Good O. Sit back and await results, (are we there yet dad, are we there yet?).

  • LocalFluff August 20, 2017, 14:25

    Yeah, that’s the right attitude! We have to zap them before they do it to us.

  • Andrew Palfreyman August 21, 2017, 1:23

    Hah! I bet they weren’t expecting THIS so soon!

  • ljk November 7, 2017, 10:36

    Green Bank Observatory Embraces Its Alien-Hunting Future

    Sarah Scoles

    11.06.17, 07:00 am

    It’s a fallish day in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, the rural home of Green Bank Observatory and the world’s largest fully steerable telescope. Rippled clouds hang low over the site’s hulking 100-meter radio dish, itself undergirded and overhung by bright white scaffolding. The browning leaves are nearly gone. And the visitor center director, Sherry McCarty, has agreed to give me the astronomy center’s new SETI tour ($40, reservations required).

    Full article here:


    To quote:

    Highlighting SETI history is kind of a departure for Green Bank, which has tried, if not to distance itself from extraterrestrial excitation, then to emphasize its work in more traditional radio astronomy: gas clouds, galaxies, supernova remnants, black holes, and other staid stuff.

    When I taught students here between 2010 and 2012, I sometimes led the regular site tours. People would often ask me, “So … have you found aliens yet?” Each time, I’d let out a silent scream. Of course that would have come first in my spiel and also in all other conversations ever—and besides, the observatory didn’t even really do SETI work at the time. Like me, most comms people at the observatory spoke of SETI as more of a comma than an exclamation point in Green Bank’s history.

    But that changed—quickly, dramatically—in 2016, when the billionaire-backed Breakthrough Listen project bought a bunch of time on the 100-meter Green Bank Telescope. Now, a significant fraction of the observatory’s funding and sky-scanning time do go toward looking for extraterrestrial intelligence. “That was the reason for the tour,” says McCarty. “We could finally say we were looking.”

    Of course, that means Green Bank has to abandon some astronomical objects of interest—in favor of alien-hunting.

    [Yeah, funny how money can get people to change their tunes, even scientists who normally treat extraterrestrial life like the embarrassing uncle of the family they used to avoid. Well, it’s the 21st Century now – time to expand your cosmic horizons, everyone.]