Crowdsourcing the Search For E.T.
The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute is asking the public to join in its hunt for signals from intelligent civilizations out there in the universe. Anyone can register on the new website, SETI Live, to help analyze data from SETI’s radio telescope devoted to scanning the heavens for signals from E.T.
The public will sort through data collected by SETI’s Allen Telescope Array, a set of 42 radio dishes in northern California that spend their time listening in many frequency bands for signals from stars recently identified as hosting planets. The telescope is looking for radio emissions that exhibit a pattern indicating it was artificially produced by intelligent beings. Though SETI has an automated algorithm that can sift through much of the data recorded, some signals occupy a frequency band so crowded that it requires humans, and not computers, to sort through it.