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The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute came about in California in November of 1984. The first modern SETI can be traced back to a magazine article written by Drs. Phillip Morrison and Guiseppe Coconni in 1959, titled “Searching for Interstellar
Communication”.

Today there are 2 different SETI organizations: the SETI League and the SETI Institute. The two organizations are separate but do share a common goal. Both organizations search for proof that we are not alone in this world. The cooperation between these 2 different organizations is high and goes as far as joint projects. Together they hope to find the answers to questions many people have asked over the years.

Radio telescopes are used to hunt for a single-band frequency coming from outside our solar system, but within our galaxy. At this time we a chance of detecting only one type of transmission known as a ‘beacon’ - a signal that has been deliberately sent to us from another life form. As our technology progresses, in time, we may be able to detect weaker signals.

Radio waves were chose because they have the capability of traveling the distances between stars with reasonable amounts of power. We currently send out waves through TV, radios, radars, and satellites. Perhaps the waves we send out will be detected, and perhaps we will be able to detect waves sent out by similar tools from another life form.

The next step for SETI will be a $25 million plan to build a large radio observatory for SETI’s use. The observatory will consist of hundreds of radio dishes covering an area of 10,000 square meters. The institute hope to have it up and fully functional in the year 2005.

Could there really be other life out there somewhere? Is it possible that we are not alone? SETI will someday provide answers to these questions through scientific theories, research, and procedures.