Really? They operate in the background, quietly searching the skies for radio signals that might come from a place like Earth, from people maybe like us, or maybe not. They are SETI, and they keep on, keeping on.
Many, many years ago when I first moved back to Virginia – this was about 1998 – I started hearing about this organization called the SETI Institute. I was interested, of course, because SETI are the people looking for life beyond our own inhabitants on Earth – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. I signed up my computer to their computer, letting them use my meager bandwidth to help in the search. It was a fun screen saver to watch, but unfortunately, I had to end my efforts due to lousy internet connectivity – namely the usage restrictions my satellite provider placed on my account. SETI used up too many megabytes.
I miss having that connection to real scientists doing something I think is extraordinarily important. I believe there is life out there, intelligent, civilized and maybe looking for us at the same time that we look for them. I can’t find on the website where they have this group computer link in effect anymore. They have other programs now that involve regular people and I encourage you to check them out.
They’re going to have a SETIcon again this summer and I’d give an arm to be able to attend! Artists, computer geeks, a guy from Pixar and even a NASA astronaut will be there. Bill Nye is going to be there.. I’d be is space heaven. You can get more info about SETIcon II here – SETIcon II
I remember when I first heard of SETI and read about the mission. Carl Sagan was a believer. He co-founded the Institute and spoke in its name. He believed in the search. And you know, yes, it’s a “big-ass sky”, but I think he’s right. One day, we’ll find them, alike to us or not – intelligent life. I will be one of the first to step up and say hello.