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Cosmic Companionship Quest Marks Major Milestone


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Cosmic Companionship Quest Marks Major Milestone

Are we alone in the universe? About 30,000 volunteers want to know! These volunteers visited arewealone.earth to sift through a huge data set from the 100 meter Green Bank Telescope—inspecting it for signals that might indicate intelligent extraterrestrial life. As of this week, this giant team has made ONE MILLION inspections!

“We are thrilled that our volunteers have accomplished so much in the short 10-month period since our launch,” said project PI Jean-Luc Margot.

A group of 6 men and women are standing and smiling in front of a white board with the equation N-R*fpnef1fifcL written in large black print.
The Science and Communications team of the “Are we alone in the universe?” project. From left to right: Ella, Jay, Megan, Jeremy, Priscella, Jean-Luc. Not pictured: Liam.

It’s a major milestone to be sure. But does that mean this search is over? Not even close. The Green Bank Telescope collects millions of signals per hour! So UCLA graduate student Megan Li is building on the volunteer-submitted data to design and train a machine learning application that will help tackle that enormous data rate. She will present her preliminary results at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society this January. 

If you’ve been helping out—thank you!  And please come help some more! The 10th batch of UCLA SETI data has now been uploaded to the platform. Moreover, thanks to volunteer translators, the project is now available in French (translated by Louis Verhaeghe) and in Portuguese (translated by Fernando Nogal).

“Are we alone in the universe?” was built by UCLA SETI on the Zooniverse platform with funding from The Planetary Society and the NASA Citizen Science Seed Funding Program.

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Last Updated
Dec 18, 2023

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