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All-sky optical SETI search announced
Posted: Tue, Jan 23, 2001, 9:32 AM ET (1432 GMT)
A new telescope in Massachusetts will conduct a comprehensive survey for visible-light signals from extraterrestrial civilizations, scientists announced Monday. The All-Sky Optical SETI Survey will use a 1.8-meter telescope under construction to search for bright laser bursts -- potentially thousands of times brighter than the Sun at a specific wavelength -- that could be generated by another civilization. It will take about 200 nights to survey the entire sky visible from the site. The Planetary Society is providing $350,000 to construct the telescope, half of which comes from a single member of the society, David Brown, through a matching grant. The telescope will join two other facilities at the Oak Ridge observatory 70 kilometers west of Boston used in search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) programs: a 1.55-meter telescope used for targeted optical SETI searches, and a 25.6-meter radio telescope used for more traditional radio SETI efforts.
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