I’m Jill Tarter, a Trustee of the SETI Institute and the holder of the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. I want to share some new developments in our SETI Programs by inviting you to watch the video we’ve created: http://buff.ly/29XERzF
I’ve spent my professional life searching for alien life. Over the span of my career, I’ve seen our equipment change dramatically, from custom built microchips and signal processors we had to design and build ourselves to the enterprise servers that run our search algorithms today.
But the two game-changers that have transformed our field are:
• The discovery that there are more planets than stars in the Milky Way and —
• The evidence of life thriving in the most extreme environments here on Earth.
The universe appears to be a lot more bio-friendly to life than we once thought. Now we want to find out if any of that potentially habitable real estate is actually inhabited.
SETI is a unique exploratory science that we began conducting in 1984 in partnership with NASA. Since 1993, however, we’ve had to rely on private sources of funding to continue this search that costs us $590,000 annually to cover staff and basic equipment. We need to raise $70,000 this summer to stay on track. Please consider making a donation to support the Campaign for SETI.
The SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array scans the sky for signals 365 days a year. It is the only facility that searches for SETI signals in near real time and thus it can better filter out interference from our own technologies. Nimble and efficient, it costs $625 to observe all 9 billion 1 hertz-wide radio channels in the direction of a single star. And we can turn its attention immediately towards any star that shows promise, as we did earlier this year when star KIC 8462852 blinked at us in a most peculiar way from 1400 light years away.
Our tools are improving daily, but we need your help to keep them scanning the skies. Because it’s a pretty big search out there with so many exoplanets having the potential for life, and so many different types of signals to examine.
We must rely on friends like you to help us raise the funds needed to support this work. Your gift during our Campaign for SETI of $50, $100, $150 or more will sustain these critical optical and radio SETI research projects and allow us to continue innovating in our quest for extraterrestrial signals.
Thank you for helping support new frontiers of human understanding.
Director, Center of SETI Research
Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI