Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

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The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a collaboration of radio astronomers who are seeking evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in radio signals received on Earth. Observations focus on the 1420 MHz frequency at which hydrogen radiates, knowledge of which is believed to be a prerequisite for any civilization that could generate deliberate space-traversing signals.

Coordinated by the SETI Institute, which was founded in 1984, the mission is to "understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. We believe we are conducting the most profound search in human history — to know our beginnings and our place among the stars. The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach."

The Institute comprises three centers: the Center for SETI Research, the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe and the Center for Education and Public Outreach. Its projects have been supported by:

  1. NASA Ames Research Center
  2. NASA Headquarters
  3. National Science Foundation
  4. Department of Energy
  5. US Geological Survey
  6. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
  7. International Astronomical Union
  8. Argonne National Laboratory
  9. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  10. David & Lucile Packard Foundation
  11. Paul G. Allen Foundation
  12. Gordon and Betty Moore
  13. Universities Space Research Association (USRA)
  14. Pacific Science Center
  15. Foundation for Microbiology
  16. Sun Microsystems
  17. Hewlett Packard Company
  18. William and Rosemary Hewlett
  19. Bernard M. Oliver