SETI & Crunching news

Behind the scenes at Berkeley SETI: Part II

SETI@Home News - Tue, 2016-09-06 20:59
In our latest video, Berkeley SETI Research Center Engineer Dave MacMahon takes us into the server room and shows us some of the equipment that powers the search:

Watch Part I of our interview with Dave at
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Weekly outage

SETI@Home News - Thu, 2016-09-01 04:28
Sorry about the misinformation on the weekly outage. When we're in outage mode the message uses the current day of the week as the day of the weekly outage. We will go back to Tuesday outage next week.

The delay in the outage this week was due to the media flap over the Russian announcement.
Categories: SETI & Crunching news

Breakthrough Listen observations of HD 164595

SETI@Home News - Tue, 2016-08-30 19:37
The Breakthrough Listen team has posted their archival search for emission from HD 164595 and the initial analysis of their recent observations of that target.
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"Baffling" "signal" "from HD 164595" is probably none of the above.

SETI@Home News - Mon, 2016-08-29 17:50
I'm sure that many of you have seen the news reports of a "SETI signal" detected from the star HD 164595

I was one of the many people who received the the email with the subject "Candidate SETI SIGNAL DETECTED by Russians from star HD 164595 by virtue of RATAN-600 radio telescope." Since the email did come from known SETI researchers, I looked over the presentation. I was unimpressed. In one out of 39 scans that passed over star showed a signal at about 4.5 times the mean noise power with a profile somewhat like the beam profile. Of course SETI@home has seen millions of potential signals with similar characteristics, but it takes more than that to make a good candidate. Multiple detections are a minimum criterion.

Because the receivers used were making broad band measurements, there's really nothing about this "signal" that would distinguish it from a natural radio transient (stellar flare, active galactic nucleus, microlensing of a background source, etc.) There's also nothing that could distinguish it from a satellite passing through the telescope field of view. All in all, it's relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint.

But, of course, it's been announced to the media. Reporters won't have the background to know it's not interesting. Because the media has it, and since this business runs on media, everyone will look at it. ATA is looking at it. I assume Breakthrough will look at it. Someone will look at it with Arecibo, and we'll be along for the ride. And I'll check the SETI@home database around that position. And we'll all find nothing. It's not our first time at this rodeo, so we know how it works.
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Berkeley SETI Research Center Highlights

SETI@Home News - Thu, 2016-08-25 19:09
We hope you enjoy this five minute highlight reel of some of our previous and upcoming videos. Hear about SETI@home and the Breakthrough Listen optical and radio searches, visit the Green Bank Telescope, see our computing hardware, and meet some of our undergraduate researchers:

Follow Berkeley SETI on Twitter:
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Setizen Jack Lass has passed away.

SETI@Home News - Sun, 2016-07-31 20:50
The SETI@home team is sad to note the passing of long time SETI@home volunteer Jack Lass. Many of you will remember him from the original SETI@home forums. Our condolences go out to his wife and son. We will miss him.
Categories: SETI & Crunching news

Behind the scenes at Berkeley SETI Research Center

SETI@Home News - Wed, 2016-07-27 23:57
New video! BSRC engineer Dave MacMahon talks GPUs, FPGAs, and the hardware that powers the search
Categories: SETI & Crunching news

SETI.German announces fifth Wow! event

SETI@Home News - Sun, 2016-07-24 17:13
To celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Wow! signal, SETI.Germany is organizing a SETI@home crunching competition from Aug 15th to Aug 29th. Everyone is welcome!
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Vice Magazine article about Arecibo Closure

SETI@Home News - Sun, 2016-07-10 17:14
Vice Magazine has posted an article about the potential closure of the Arecibo observatory.
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Breakthrough Listen: Expanding the Search for Life Beyond Earth

SETI@Home News - Thu, 2016-07-07 19:07
BSRC's Dr. Steve Croft recently gave a one-hour public talk about how we find planets around other stars, the search for life beyond Earth, and the new Breakthrough Listen project. Watch the video at

Follow Berkeley SETI on Facebook:
and on Twitter:
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SETI researcher Stéphane Dumas has passed away

SETI@Home News - Fri, 2016-06-10 23:00
We are sad to hear that our friend and colleague Stéphane Dumas passed away this week. Here is a video of his recent SETItalks talk.
Categories: SETI & Crunching news

Arecibo still threatened with closure.

SETI@Home News - Thu, 2016-06-09 23:15
Recently the NSF announced its intent to start the process which could lead to the partial shutdown, mothballing, or complete disassebly of the Arecibo Observatory. As most of you know, this is not a new discussion in the scientific community. Several years ago we had asked you write letters to Congress in hopes of averting this fate.

A petition has been started on to ask the President to ensure it is funded. I'm pessimistic about the chances that it will change anything, as the President cannot change Congressional budget priorities, and only has limited ability to move money between NSF programs. However, bringing attention to the issues of science funding in this country cannot hurt.
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