About the SETI Institute

DCL | Seth Shostak

The SETI Institute is a one-of-a-kind, world renowned science research institution where biologists, physicists, chemists, astronomers, ecologists, planetary scientists, geologists, engineers, technologists, and educators join forces in the quest to find life elsewhere. This includes the search for potentially inhabited planets in our Solar System and beyond, laboratory and field investigations of the origins and early evolution of life, and studies of the potential of life to adapt to future challenges on Earth and in space. The SETI Institute is bringing together some of the best and brightest minds in science today to unlock the mysteries of the cosmos.

Research is conducted under several centers at the SETI Institute. The Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe specializes in the broad interdisciplinary field of astrobiology, striving to understand all possible forms of life in the universe: past, present, and future. Center for SETI Research asks the question, "Are we alone?" and seeks evidence of technologically advanced civilizations in the universe. SETI's Center for Education and Public Outreach brings the excitement of astrobiology and SETI research to classrooms, homes and museums throughout the nation and around the world.

Also at the Institute, the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) is an innovative research telescope that offers not only its inherent speed, but also the simple advantage of being usable 24/7 for research and data collection. For radio astronomy, the ATA can scan more of the sky very rapidly and create precise measurements of distant celestial objects.

Here are some examples of the SETI Institute's work:

- Bioengineering designed to inform us about survival in space could be developed to help fuel our future at home with renewable energy sources.

- Protecting both Earth and other worlds from biological contamination as spacecraft explore the solar system also expands our knowledge of best practices for basic environmental protection.

- Revealing the strange phenomena that take place in ring systems around planets provides insight into how these worlds, and ours, were formed.

- Speeding up the search for extraterrestrial intelligence with a radically new instrument: the Allen Telescope Array enables us to pursue the answer to one of humanity's oldest questions: "Are we alone?"

- By researching the possibilities for life in the perpetually dark oceans under the ice of Jupiter's moon, Europa, we can better understand the environmental impact of Earth's changing climates. This may help us protect the future survival of species on Earth.

The SETI Institute is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1984 (California Corporation #1261957). The Institute is a scientific and educational organization governed by the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, and the Institute's Federal identification number for reporting and tax purposes is 94-2951356.


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