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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Allen telescope will search for signs of life extraterrestrial


The ATA is made up of 42 satellite dishes that scan the cosmos for intelligent life.
The Institute for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI, for its acronym in English), based in California, USA, announced that it managed to raise the funds needed to resume operations of a parabolic group exploring the cosmos in search of intelligent life .

The 42 antennas of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA, for its acronym in English) had stopped working in April due to lack of funding, forcing them into hibernation.
The SETI sought the help of the public through campaign donations, managing to rise over $ 200,000.
Explains the BBC journalist Judith Burns, among about 2,400 donors is American actress Jodie Foster.
Foster starred in the 1997 film "Contact", in which he portrayed an astronomer in search of extraterrestrial life.
"The ATA can turn science fiction into science fact, but only if if is actively looking into space," the artist said in a statement.
Contract with U.S. Air Force
"For those interested in knowing if there is intelligent life in our galaxy, the Allen Telescope Array and SETI team conducting the research are the best bet"
Thomas Pierson, executive director of SETI
Those responsible for the SETI assured that the proceeds should be enough to keep the telescope in operation until the end of the year.
The institute is also in negotiations for a contract with the U.S. Air Force to track debris.
SETI astronomer Seth Shostak told the BBC that although the agreement with the U.S. Air Force is not yet closed, expected to close soon.
In any case, the delivery of the money from that agreement must be ratified by the U.S. Congress, so there could be some delay.
Nevertheless, Shostak hopes that the ATA starts working again in September or October.
Thomas Pierson, executive director of SETI, also expects the deal with the Air Force and money donations allow the reopening of the facility.
"For those interested in knowing if there is intelligent life in our galaxy, the Allen Telescope Array and SETI team conducting the research are the best bet."
Different scans

The ATA also contributes to research on black holes, pulsars and magnetic fields in the Milky Way.
The ATA started operations in 2007 and was baptized with that name in honor of its principal benefactor, Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.
It is part of the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, operated by the University of California, Berkeley.
The SETI hopes to raise enough money to cover its annual budget of $ 2.5 million.
The idea is to use the telescope in the future to explore planets beyond our solar system.
The ATA also contributes to research on black holes, pulsars and magnetic fields in the Milky Way.

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