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Searching for Life



If it's just us, it's a terrible waste of space.
- Ellie Arroway, "Contact"

searchers have visited this site since 03.30.2000
The Search Is On!


associate.jpg (12183 bytes)Who's out there? Are humans alone in the universe? Scientists involved in SETI

the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

are using modern technology to search for the answer to this age-old question.



Help in the most exciting search of our time,

 The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Download the SETI software here:

SETI@home is a scientific experiment that harnesses the power of hundreds of thousands of Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data. 

For every blade of grass on the planet Earth there are 10,000 Sun like stars. If even a small percentage of these stars have Earth-like planets there's a small but captivating possibility that your computer will detect the faint murmur of a civilization beyond Earth. It's not an "if" that someone on Earth will find a signal but "when" will they find it.

 You could be the one, now wouldn't that be something!!!

Check out my stats

The Drake Equation

Our sun is only a single star in a collection of over 400 billion we call the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is only 1 of billions of galaxies in the universe. What are the odds that life exists somewhere in those billions of galaxies.  The astronomer Frank Drake developed a simple equation to estimate the potential number of communicating civilizations, now called the Drake Equation, that maps out the possibilities.

N = R * f(p) * n(e) * f(l) * f(i) * f(c) * L

"N" here represents the number of communicating civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy. This number depends on several factors. "R" is the rate of "suitable" star formation in the galaxy. "f(p)" is the fraction of stars that have planets. "n(e)" is the number of these planets around any star within the suitable ecosphere of the star. An "ecosphere" is a shell that surrounds a star within which the conditions are suitable for life to form. Too close and it's too hot; too far and it's too cold. "f(l)" is the fraction of those planets within the ecosphere on which life actually evolves. "f(i)" is the fraction of those planets on which intelligent life evolves. "f(c)" is the fraction of those planets where intelligent life develops a technology and attempts communication. The last factor, "L," is the length of time that an intelligent, communicating civilization lasts.

Making some assumptions about the values for each variable based on current scientific knowledge and using our own solar system as the proto-typical standard result in N = L.  In other words, the number of intelligent communicating civilizations in the galaxy equals the number of years such a civilization lasts!  There should be at least 50 (the number of years WE'VE been around communicating) and if a communicative civilization lasts for millions of years, there may possibly be millions of civilizations we can look for.

Not convinced?  Plug in your own estimates here and see what result you get.

Sky & Telescope magazine's SETI page
The SETI Page.  
The Planetary Society's SETI Page.   
The SETI Institute.  
The Columbus Optical SETI Project.  
The SETI League.      
SETI Quest Magazine.  
SETI at the University of California.
The Astrobiology Web.  
exoScience - The Science of Space: Exobiology
Planetary Biology. 
Marsbugs:  The Electronic Exobiology Newsletter.
San Francisco State University Planet Search Project.
CONTACT: Cultures Of The Imagination (CONTI). A Group That Studies First Contact Scenarios.  
World Building 101.  
Extrasolar Visions.  
Distant Worlds, Distant Suns.  
The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia.    
The Extrasolar  Research Corporation.
The Exploration of Neighbouring Planetary Systems (ExNPS) Study.
NASA's Origins Program.  

This logo is a registered servicemark of SETI League, Inc., used by permission.
This SETI@home Ring site is owned by The Gray Wizard.

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