I read some welcome news today about the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life (SETI) project. They have started pointing a radio telescope in West Virginia at a list of stellar systems that are likely to have planets within habitable parameters (between 0 and 100 degrees Celsius). They have 1235 planets on the list, identified by the Kepler space telescope, and they will gather 24 hours of data on each planet. The Green Bank telescope can gather 300 times the amount of information as the radio telescope at Arecibo, so the data will be pouring in! Here’s where you come in. SETI uses the BOINC distributed computing infrastructure to process data using volunteer computers. All you have to do is install the BOINC screensaver, and tell it which project you want to join. There are many teams around the world—your team gets part of the credit for discovery if your computers discover the first verifiable signal from an alien intelligence. Join my team! We are called AstroScum, Team 747680. Even though we are only 3 strong now, our combined scores for data processing are better than 76% of the teams out there. But I suspect that there are some guys out there with access to server farms that are running the screensaver. The links to locate and sign up are in the right sidebar—please join!
Archive for the ‘astronomy’ Category