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------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 09:45:03 -0400
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Larry Klaes <email@example.com>
Subject: SETI ABCNEWS.com: Massive Search for Extraterrestrials Begins
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, EJBemail@aol.com,
bold><fontfamilyparam>arial<param>On the Home Computer,
Biggest Search Ever
<bold><fontfamily><param geneva param><smaller>ABCNEWS' Deborah
Wang reports that some 400,000 people are looking for intelligent
<italic>By Deborah Wang
,6666,ccccparam<smallerB E R K E L E Y, Calif, May
13</smaller olor></fontfamily>bold> <bigger>- At the
University of California at Berkeley, astrophysicist Dan
Werthimer listens for anything, any noise from space, that could
be the calling card of a distant civilization.
bigger> "There's a good chance that radio signals are going
past this planet and we could discover them right now if we knew
where to point the telescope and what frequency to look at," says
Because signals from other planets are likely to be faint,
he uses a
massive radio telescope - the size of 27 football fields -
nestled into the mountains of Puerto Rico.
Supercomputers analyze the noises, looking for patterns that
have originated in other worlds. But even supercomputers cannot
begin to analyze all the different noises gathered from space. So
scientists are about to embark on a project that would increase
their computer power by harnessing the world's personal computers
connected through the Internet.
<bold>How the Project Works</bold> </bigger></color></fontfamily>
Every few days, little chunks of raw data from the radio
sent through the Internet to personal computers around the world.
When the computer is on, but not in use, it sifts through the
data looking for any remarkable sounds. When the calculations are
done, the computer sends the information back to scientists at
More than 400,000 people have signed up for the project so
Scientists say it will create the world's largest supercomputer.
One participant is Bob Cowart, a writer. His computer runs
program when it might otherwise be running the screensaver.
"If I have a choice between flying toasters on my computer
and analyzing some data from a radio telescope from Puerto Rico,
I'm going to go for the radio telescope," says Cowart. "It's more
Lawyer Nanci Cohen runs the program in her office while
multimillion-dollar deals. And 11-year-old Aidan McDermott has
convinced his parents to run it on the family's home computer.
"If your screensaver is the one that finds the signal," says
Werthimer, "you will become quite famous. And you and I will go
to Stockholm together to get the Nobel Prize."
And while the project is being marketed as fun for
there is serious science at work here. One of the project's
scientists believes they have the potential to get 100 times more
computer power than they could otherwise afford.
So if intelligent life is out there somewhere, these new
here on Earth may just allow scientists to find it that much
<bold>If You Want To Look, Too</bold>
<fontfamily><param>geneva</param><smaller> Here's what you need
A computer with 32 megabytes or more of memory.
10 megabytes of disk space
A connection to the Internet.
Right now, the University of California, Berkeley, SETI
have released the SETI@home screensaver only for the Unix
operating system, which runs mostly on high-end corporate and
university computer workstations.
That'll change in a couple of days. Monday, May 17 is the
release date for the Windows and Macintosh versions of SETI@home.
It takes only a few minutes to download the free software from
ley.edu/, and then you can find out if E.T. is calling you.
For those for aren't satisfied with processing other
you can build your own radio telescope and join the SETI search
The SETI League, a nonprofit organization based in Little
N.J., is recruiting 5,000 amateur radio astronomers to
continuously observe the entire night sky. This requires more
commitment and money: You need to scrounge an old, obsolete
12-foot TV satellite dish and buy about $1,500 to $3,000 of
So far, 76 stations are operational and listening.
include a patent attorney in Arkansas, a construction worker in
Toronto and a registered nurse in Mannheim, Germany. For more
information, look at the SETI League Web site:
<bold>Search for more on:
<bold><fontfamily><param>geneva</param><smaller>S U M M A R Y
caram>The biggest search effort ever for intelligent life in
space begins on the home computer. </color></fontfamily></bold>
Here's How You Can Get Involved in the Search
er>W E B L I N K
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