Earthlings' search for extraterrestrial life will soon be back on!
The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute announced this week it has raised enough money to bring the Allen Telescope Array, a group of 42 large dish antennas that scan the cosmos for radio signals, back online.
"We believe we will be back on the air in September," Tom Pierson, a co-founder of the SETI Institute, told the Los Angeles Times.
The telescope array, which SETI operates in a partnership with the Radio Astronomy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, had not been working since April. A funding shortfall forced to university to put its Hat Creek Observatory, which houses the telescope array, into hibernation, meaning the facility was maintained by minimum staff and could not be used for observations.
SETI, through a program it dubbed SETIstars, sought the public's help in raising money to get the array back on line. The SETIstars website reports Wednesday that more than $206,000 has been raised, 103% of the group's goal. Almost 2,300 individual donations were made, according to the website.