Seti@Home

SETI - Search for Extra Terestrial Intelligence


What is SETI@home?

SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

The Science of SETI@home

SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a scientific area whose goal is to detect intelligent life outside Earth. One approach, known as radio SETI, uses radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. Such signals are not known to occur naturally, so a detection would provide evidence of extraterrestrial technology. Radio telescope signals consist primarily of noise (from celestial sources and the receiver's electronics) and man-made signals such as TV stations, radar, and satellites. Modern radio SETI projects analyze the data digitally. More computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity. Radio SETI, therefore, has an insatiable appetite for computing power.

Previous radio SETI projects have used special-purpose supercomputers, located at the telescope, to do the bulk of the data analysis. In 1995, David Gedye proposed doing radio SETI using a virtual supercomputer composed of large numbers of Internet-connected computers, and he organized the SETI@home project to explore this idea. SETI@home was originally launched in May 1999.

How You Can Contribute To Seti@home

It's really simple. If you have a computer (or several computers) at home or work that stay on but are idle for extended periods, then you can use that idle time to actually put your unused computing power to good use. Simply download the Seti@home client and install it. When your computer is idle, the Seti@home great looking screensaver will kick in and start doing some number crunching. It downloads tiny packets of data via the internet, does the analysis, and sends back the results. The more powerful your computers, the quicker the analysis occurs. When you start using your computer again, the analysis stops giving you back full power and control of your computer. The analysis only occurs when your computer is idle, so you never notice any performance decrease! Genius!

As no single computer has enough computing power to do all the work on its own, this method of distributed comuting power means that Seti@home can harness millions of Ghz of computing power from around the world for a great cause... A global effort that hopes to answer one of mankinds most pressing questions.... Are we alone?

Join Team AnotherWorld

Interested in join in the grand search for intelligent life outside our own planet? Team 'AnotherWorld' has been an active member of Seti@home since 1999 and is currently ranked in the Top 500 contributors in Australia, having completed more than 99.5% more computations than the average Seti@home user.

Download the Seti@home client to your computer and create your profile, and be sure to join team 'AnotherWorld'.