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HAT CREEK, Calif. - Astronomer Michael M. Davis checked his computer. One of the antennas on the state-of-the-art radio telescope being built in the valley outside his office was picking up an unusual pulse from beyond the earth. A signal from another intelligent civilization? Not today. It was the Rosetta Satellite, en route to study a comet.
Hopeful moments followed by disappointments like this are par for the course for researchers at the SETI Institute, the privately funded successor to the now defunct government project dedicated to searching for alien life. They have been searching the heavens for decades, but they have not been able to gather enough data to conclude, or even guess, whether we are alone in the universe.
This time, however, the scientists hope things might be different. This month, the first telescope designed specifically for such a search began scanning the skies. It is still in its early stage of development, but when it is completed the telescope will be so powerful that it will be able to look at more stars in a year or two than we have in the past 45 years.
"The absence of a signal so far is not particularly compelling," said Davis, an adjunct professor emeritus at Cornell University who recently joined SETI to oversee the telescope project. "We could have a billion intelligent cultures with radio waves buzzing around them . . ., but we haven't had the capability to detect them."
Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
This would be a great post for the SETI forum... *wink wink*
Originally posted by IncubusMorningView2001
I have never read about any progress made by SETI. They gave us no clues or leads to anything. They should change the direction of their efforts to something else more productive like supporting space exploration or the Hubble Telescope.