I used to have the SETI at Home screensaver on my desktop until it crashed. It was pretty. It would be very cool if SETI actually caught a message from the depths of space, but most likely we’ll just have to solve our own problems down here. Unless the Rapture comes.
I’d bet that the odds of extra-terrestrial radio contact are a little better than the Rapture, and SETI thinks so too. They are planning a 50th anniversary re-check of some of the closest stars.
In a vast cosmic experiment equivalent to hitting “redial,” astronomers in a dozen countries are aiming telescopes to listen in once again on some of the stars that were part of the world’s first search for alien life 50 years ago.
The coordinated signal-searching campaign began this month to mark the 50th anniversary of Project Ozma, a 1960 experiment that was christened the world’s first real attempt in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence – or SETI.
Like Project Ozma, which got its name from a character in L. Frank Baum’s series of books about the Land of Oz, the new search is called Project Dorothy.
A lot has been learned in fifty years, including where some extrasolar planets are. The SETI astronomers might not find alien intelligence, but they’re sure to come up with something good.