Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One million amateur stargazers to help scientists try and spot advanced alien life on another planet - 18th May 2011

Stargazers around the world are helping scientists to try and detect signals from an advanced civilisation on another planet.

In February, Nasa announced that its Kepler space telescope had identified 1,235 possible planets, some of them 'habitable zones', during its first four months in orbit.

Now astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming a radio telescope at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if the can spot any signs of life.

They began their search earlier this month, when the Robert C Byrd Green Bank Telescope – the largest steerable radio telescope in the world – dedicated an hour to eight stars with possible planets.

But that is only the beginning.Link

Once the scientists acquire 24 hours of data on a total of 86 Earth-like planets, they will initiate a preliminary analysis and then ask an estimated one million SETI@home users to conduct a more detailed analysis on their home computers. Read More