Aug. 17, 1999 SETI@home -- the innovative screen-saver that analyzes data from the scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) -- has passed the one million mark for the number of people who are now processing SETI data on their home computers.
Developed at the University of California, Berkeley, and sponsored by the Planetary Society, SETI@home went on-line May 17, 1999 and quickly garnered worldwide attention. The program allows ordinary citizens anywhere the chance to actually participate in the search for intelligent life elsewhere in our galaxy. One million inhabitants of Earth have taken up the challenge.
Louis Friedman, Executive Director of the Planetary Society, said, "Will we discover an alien signal -- who knows? But the search itself is a grand and exciting experiment that allows participants the chance to change human history by possibly discovering that we are not alone in our universe."
SETI@home is an innovative screen-saver program that harnesses the spare computing power of hundreds of thousands -- now one million - Internet-connected personal computers around the world to crunch data from the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
As of today, SETI@home users have logged an incredible 51,374.56 years - over 51 millennia - worth of computer time.
SETI@home is led by Dr. David Anderson, a Visiting Scientist at UC Berkeley, and by Dan Werthimer, director of UC Berkeley's SERENDIP SETI program. The project was conceived by computer scientist David Gedye.
The project's initial funding came from The Planetary Society. Other sponsors include the University of California, Berkeley, Sun Microsystems, Fujifilm Computer Products, Quantum Corp., and Informix. Paramount Pictures provided partial funding to The Planetary Society for this project.
SETI@home taps into the enormous power of hundreds of thousands of personal computers. Participants range in age from young students to retirees, and from professional engineers to newcomers to the Internet.
If a signal is found using the SETI@home program, the owner of the computer that analyzes that vital data will merit a place in the history books as one of the humans who opened the door to an incredible new view of the cosmos.
To sign-up or help with the search, participants should go to one of the following two web sites: The Planetary Society at http://planetary.org or the SETI@home site at http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu.
For more information about SETI@home or other SETI projects sponsored by The Planetary Society, contact Charlene Anderson by telephone at (626)793-5100 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find additional information on SETI on our website at http://planetary.org and at the SETI@home site at http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu.
Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman founded the Society in 1979 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. With 100,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world.
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The above story is based on materials provided by The Planetary Society.
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