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How to donate to SETI@Home Project

Written by Ben Newsome on March 12th, 2009.      0 comments

Parkes radio telescope pointing up on an overcast day
Parkes radio telescope, NSW Australia

Always wanted to participate in the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)?
How about donating some of your computing power at your school, office or home to the http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/ project!
 
The SETI project is specifically looking for narrow bandwidth radio signals originating from celestial sources that should not naturally occur. Finding such signals may warrant further investigation into their origin... hey, there could be a slight possibility of it being from an intelligent source!  
So, where could you come in? Join the SETI@home project!

This project was developed by the UC Berkley SETI team to allow Internet-connected computers around the world to help provide computing power in searching through radio transmissions. The way you can participate is by running a free program that downloads and analyzes small amounts of radio telescope data that would otherwise need a gigantic supercomputer to analyses as a whole.  By providing additional computing power enables searches to cover greater frequency ranges with more sensitivity.

So, how would it affect me if I joined up?

Normally you run a screensaver when you're not at your desk right? Well, the SETI@home project gives you a different screensaver that performs the same function but also downloads and analyses data from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. Once the data is analysed the screensaver uploads the results back to the UC Berkley team. Each data file is only 0.34 megabytes, about the size of a glossy internet picture. Doesn't seem like much, but when you have thousands of computers doing this across the world it all adds up.
The best bit, you don’t have to do a thing and you're contributing to scientific knowledge.

All the best!

Ben

Ben Newsome
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