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Allen Telescope Activated

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Tagged As: Astronomy and Space

Humans have wondered for ages whether Earth is the sole home of intelligent life in the universe. In the 1960s, SETI, the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, got scientific grounding with its first "formalized" search. The notion has passed in and out of favor through the decades and is largely championed by the SETI Institute and a network of distributed computers (aka SETI@home) processing endless databases of radio signals.

Today, the Allen Telescope, named for its benefactor Paul Allen of Microsoft fame, will be activated. Not only will the telescope exist as a dedicated platform for SETI research, but it ushers in a new era of cheaper telescopes built on commodity hardware taking advantage of advanced DSPs (digital signal processors) that can rival the abilities of older and larger radio telescopes.

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