So You Want to Join the Search for E.T.?

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]cientists at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are pointing their instruments toward the litany of exoplanets discovered by the NASA‘s Kepler telescope. And they need your help.

Through a radio telescope, a signal from an alien civilization would probably look a lot like a signal from a satellite orbiting Earth, only fainter. At least that’s what scientists engaged in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) suspect.

After a brief shutdown for budgetary reasons, the SETI Institute is using California’s 42-dish Allen Telescope Array to investigate the 2321 exoplanets turned up by NASA‘s Kepler space-based observatory, which is searching for Earth-like planets.

Jill Tarter, the Bernard M. Oliver chair at the SETI Institute—and the model for Jodie Foster‘s character in Contact—says the most promising window for signals is from 1 GHz to 10 GHz. Unfortunately, that range is noisy with everything from GPS satellite signals to Wi-Fi communications. And computer algorithms can only do so much.

Since Feb

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