SETI Observations

Giving Tuesday

New Horizons scientists made this false color image of Pluto using a technique called principal component analysis to highlight the many subtle color differences between Pluto's distinct regions.
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  • New Horizons scientists made this false color image of Pluto using a technique called principal component analysis to highlight the many subtle color differences between Pluto's distinct regions.

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  • The Martian

    The lines which appear on the homepage description.

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    The Martian
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  • SETIJam

    Join developers from around the world to create fun, educational games about the search for life in the universe, using real science and data from some of the most advanced telescopes and NASA missions!

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  • In this talk, Dr. Stillman demonstrates how observations from the ~25 cm/pixel High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (Hi-Rise) onboard Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and surface temperature data acquired by three orbital instruments suggest that RSL are caused by subsurface liquid water flows.

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  • NASA’s Astrobiology Institute (NAI) announced that the SETI Institute has been selected as a new member of the NAI for a 5-year research program, “Changing Planetary Environments and the Fingerprints of Life.”

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  • We make split second decisions about others – someone is male or female, black or white, us or them. But sometimes the degrees of separation are incredibly few. A mere handful of genes determines skin color, for example. Find out why we’re wired to categorize. And, a groundbreaking court case seeks to grant personhood status to our chimpanzee cousins.

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  • How did the universe begin ? This is one of the deepest mysteries in science. Chao-Lin Kuo describes the BICEP program, a series of South Pole-based experiments aiming to answer this question by studying the polarization of cosmic microwave background radiation.

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  • SETI engineer Jon Richards used the Allen Telescope Array to search for telemetry signals from MAVEN and found a transmission at 8446 MHz.

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  • Philosophers have long considered the possibility that we live in an artificial or simulated reality. In this talk, Dr. Beane gives an overview of some of the simulation arguments/scenarios that he personally finds most compelling.

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The SETI Institute needs your help!

This is an incredibly exciting time for the SETI Institute. The number of verified planets outside of our solar systems grows rapidly, and includes several that may have liquid water on their surfaces. At the same time, we are learning that life can survive in amazing places, even in lakes sealed beneath the Antarctic ice. These and other recent developments virtually assure the existence, and ultimate verification, of life beyond Earth. Recently NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan agreed, predicting "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years." The SETI Institute is at the forefront of many of these discoveries. As the only organization that addresses the full range of disciplines related to understanding and explaining the origin and nature of life in the universe, we search for answers to critical questions such as:

  • How did life begin on Earth?
  • Where/when/how did it overcome bottlenecks?
  • Does it exist elsewhere?
  • Are there other technological life forms?
  • Can we survive our own technological adolescence?
  • Is there a long future for life on Earth?

The answers to these and related questions are critical for informing some of the most important decisions mankind will make in the next 50 years.

Unfortunately, it has become increasingly difficult for basic research institutions like our Institute to rely on government funding in the United States. Increasingly, we are dependent on visionaries such as you to support our programs. When you invest in the SETI Institute, you join leaders such as Dave Packard, Paul Allen, Bill Hewlett, Gordon Moore, and Franklin Antonio, all of whom have been strong supporters. The Institute is approaching a critical point where we may need to curtail some of our programs, so we need your support now!

The Allen Telescope Array is being upgraded with more sensitive radio receivers, capable at working at even higher frequencies, to improve the search for other technological civilizations. This improved sensitivity is like building more telescopes, making the search even more effective. But we must urgently find funding to support our scientists to make use of the array.

These opportunities are all here today, but we need your help to seize them. You can be a part of discovering life beyond Earth! Please go to to make your tax-deductible donation now!

Thanks for your help!

David Black   Dane Glasgow
David Black
  Dane Glasgow
Chairman of the Board of Trustees