Citizen scientists shape 'destiny of humanity'
With the help of citizen scientists, SETI hopes to make the most of the Allen Telescope Array.
March 28th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

Citizen scientists shape 'destiny of humanity'

In 2009, Jill Tarter wanted to trigger the most meaningful search for extraterrestrial intelligence to date by pulling everyone together to look at the sky. The SETI Institute scientist brought her wish to the 2009 TED Conference. The idea of citizen science gave her hope.

The more eyes and ears she could put on the sky and the signals being received by the Allen Telescope Array – a collection of small satellite dishes together that can simultaneously pick up signals for radio astronomy research – the better chance we have at making new discoveries. Tarter wanted people to analyze the signals the array sends back in real time – something machines can’t do.

“We think humans are able to do something that our machines can’t” Tarter said. “We’re hoping that in these regions of the spectrum, where there are so many signals that we use for our own communication purposes, that humans can perhaps be sensitive to signals buried underneath all of this chatter of our own that might be coming from a distant technology.”

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Filed under: On Earth • Science Education
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Indira Lofgreen

    The classics, in the Western academic tradition, refer to cultures of classical antiquity, namely the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The study of the classics is considered one of the cornerstones of the humanities; however, its popularity declined during the 20th century. Nevertheless, the influence of classical ideas in many humanities disciplines, such as philosophy and literature, remains strong; for example, the Gilgamesh Epic from Mesopotamia, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Vedas and Upanishads in India and various writings attributed to Confucius, Lao-tse and Chuang-tzu in China.'`::

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    May 19, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  2. Charlie Sheen

    If thats the case, then we know that movie about Aliens in Alaska was true.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  3. helenecha

    Every time I see them in the picture, I seem to think of that all the time. What an interesting exploration we made, they must not only be enjoyable but profitable as well.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Gene Akers

      What if all the greatest, earnest yearnings and hopeful striving of all citizen scientists are 'blind sided' by an unthinkable and devastating secret – that the 80 year 'young' phenomenon of ufo's/et's are in fact satanic vehicles populated not by superior beings but demons from hell.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Moi

      People cannot live wuthoit Nature, but nature can live wuthoit us. we need to take action before everything was to late. Do not wait until the nature said you are not belong to thin planet.

      April 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm |

    well said

    March 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |


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