Soul to the Stars

An Ear to the Sky
Adventure In My Heart

When you were a kid did you dream of exploring space? Did you watch and read science fiction and wish it were you going off on all those fantastic space adventures? Maybe, like me you avidly followed the space programs and the astronauts were your heroes.

If the magic of space exploration is still with you read below. YOUR time to be a space explorer has come!


Feet On the Ground


So What Is It ?

It all revolves around helping SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) analize data they've collected from the radiotelescopes they use. Since they lost the use of their supercomputers they're calling on the people and business for assistance. Large numbers of individual, family and corporate volunteers are giving SETI a hand by taking in data units from the SETI server, allowing their computers to use 'spare time' and free software to work on the units and sending them back to SETI. It's slower than the supercomputers SETI once had, but it still gets the job done. The project is called, SETI@Home.

But Why Should You help SETI ?

How would you like to be the one whose computer first analized a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization? You would be, in effect, making first contact. Certainly the owner of the computer that first processes this signal will become the one who answers the question once and for all, 'Are we alone in the universe?'

Granted the chances of YOUR computer being the one that works on THE signal are pretty small. Still if you run SETI's free software the chance is there. It's the scientific method, not science fiction. The possibility is real. There's no denying that this is exciting and tantalizing.

Okay Is This A Scam ?

Even those of us whose imaginations sail the solar winds of space have a healthy streak of skepticism. It sometimes seems that everyone is out to just plain get what they can from people.

One look at the corporations who have joined in the SETI@Home effort should take care of any misgivings about SETI's legitimacy. These companies wouldn't be taking part in the project if they thought they were being scammed. They've researched the consequences of their involvement and to them, it's business and the bottom line with the VERY useable marketing opportunity of one of their computers processing the first signal from a civilization outside Earth. What does it cost them? Same cost private citizens pay...Nothing but allowing SETI@Home's free software to run on their computers and report the results of analized data units to SETI.

And What If Aliens Invade ?

Fact is that Earth has been unintentionally sending signals out into space since the invention of wireless telegraphy at the turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries. These radio signals have been escaping from our atmosphere and travelling into space at the speed of light all this time. While it's true that we've sent out signals with radiotelescopes to look at other parts of space that was started long after we began broadcasting official and entertainment radio frequency signals to ourselves. There's nothing we can do about the transmissions that have already reached outer space. It's far too late to worry about whether or not someone else in our galaxy has heard us.

There's been speculation on what sort of beings might be on other worlds that stretches as far back in recorded history is the 1700's. Will extraterrestrials be friendly, hostile or will they simply not care one way or the other? Would we lose our cultural identity if we contacted them? Would they all be playing baseball a year after we met? Might we one day talk and meet with no significant effects either way? No one really knows and as our routine radio signals have already said we're here, we might as well listen to see if these other civilizations are really out there.

For good or ill we've already anounced our presence to anyone who might happen to have been listening. SETI@Home is about LISTENING for signals, not sending them out.

Here's What You Need to Help SETI@Home

If you can see this Website you've probably got everything you need to take part in SETI@Home. You don't need to send anyone any money. You don't need a big, powerful computer. Basically all that's required is a computer that can connect to the Internet and run the free SETI@Home software.

The SETI@Home program runs on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Macintosh, UNIX, Linux, OS/2, BeOS, MacOS X Server, OpenVMS and other operating systems. This wide variety of choice means that almost everyone with a computer that can get a PPP connection to the Internet can run the software.

You don't have to spend a lot of extra time helping SETI, either. The SETI@Home programs can run as screensavers that come on when you're not using your machine or they can run in the background as you run other software.

The programs themselves are made to be easy to install. Installation usually takes only a few minutes and you're done. Changing how you'd like the program to run on your machine is just as simple and there's plenty of help available on the SETI@Home Website.

Your computer does NOT have to be connected to the Internet all the time. The program will tell you when it's time to connect to the Internet. Then the software will send in a completed data unit and get another to work on. It's that hastle-free.

Here's How You Get Started !

Just click on the SETI@Home picture link below (text browser users click on the 'Click Here to Join the Search!' link) and you'll be taken directly to SETI@Home's Website where you'll learn all about how you can lend a helping hand to science and be the space explorer you always wanted to be.


Click Here to Join the Search!


Other worthy endeavours & organizations to support are

Website Accessibility Free Speech on the Internet

Equality for the Blind Release of
POW/MIAs Still Held

Click Above for More Information.

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SETI and SETI@Home are copyrighted names. Visit the appropriate Websites for details. Top SETI@Home animated graphic by Robert Jones. SETI@Home banner by Andreas Kleinke.