Dear SETI@home Volunteer:
SETI@home has been running for over a decade, harnessing the power of
millions of computers around the world in the search for extraterrestrial
intelligence. We've observed for thousands of hours on some of the world's
largest telescopes. Volunteers like you have donated immense amounts of
computing time. And many of you have also donated money, or donated your
time to help other users on our online forums. Yet we've found nothing.
Zip. Not a peep from ET in all those terabytes of data. So why bother?
Because we've probed a volume of our galaxy
that's only a drop in the bucket compared to what's left to investigate. Because
the explosion in the number of planets found in the last decade
means that there are far more potential places for
life to arise than we dared dream. Because with your help
we've built one of the largest citizen science projects on the planet;
it continues to push boundaries in innovation, and to inspire the
next generation of scientists and engineers. And because we
believe that we have a real chance of answering, definitively, within
our lifetimes, a question that humans have asked since the dawn
of time: Are we alone?
What a privilege to be a part of such an endeavor! The SETI@home engineers
and scientists are in awe of the support that we've received from folks
like you who want to be a part of this adventure. The experiment we're
conducting is of such broad interest that our own Dan Werthimer was asked to appear at a
Congressional hearing this year.
But despite that we're still a small team working on a tight budget, and most of our
financial support comes from people like you. Limited funding not only
constrains our ability to try new experiments, to look for new kinds
of signals in the data, and to keep our machines up and running, but
it makes it hard to free up enough time for our team members to keep in
touch with you about what we are working on. This year we're planning to
do a better job of that, and we'll be regularly updating Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, and our website with news and with
profiles of our team at the Berkeley SETI Research Center.
Contact with ET could happen tomorrow, next month, next year, or further
in the future. But one thing is sure. If we don't redouble our efforts,
the signal could come while we're off the air, or it could be in a form
that we've not yet developed algorithms to recognize. Sure, SETI@home
has been going for a while. But the search is just beginning. Your tax
deductible donations pay for our computers, train our graduate students,
and help us travel to our telescopes. We couldn't do this without
you! Every contribution, large or small, is welcome.
Will you help us
continue the search for the answer to one of humanity's deepest questions?
Dr. Steve Croft, Astronomer
On behalf the scientists, engineers, and students at the Berkeley SETI Research Center
P.S.: We're also auctioning off some unique SETI@home memorabilia!