The 305m Arecibo Telescope
The University of Berkeley, California, is also using the Arecibo Telescope to carry out Project SERENDIP. This is a "piggy back" project as it does not have any time specifically allocated to it, but observes wherever the Arecibo telescope is pointed.   Over a two year period it should, however, observe the majority of the sky visible to the Arecibo telescope two to three times over.
The data received by a dedicated receiver observing around the 1420 MHz frequency of the Hydrogen line is storred on tape and transferred to Berkeley for analysis.   A 2.5 MHz band of frequencies is being extracted from this data for analysis by computers across the world in the SETI@home Project
By logging into this site it is possible for anyone with a home computer to first download an analysis program which runs when the computer is not otherwise being used.   When the program is first run it will ask you to register with the project and will then download a segment of data for your computer to analyse.
The time that it will take for the analysis of this data block will obviously vary on the speed of the processor.   The fastest Pentiums are taking about 23 hrs or so, whilst a 233 Mhz Pentium will take about 48 hours.   When the processing is complete you will be prompted to log on again (or it can be automatic) and details of any significant signals found in your data sent back to Berkeley for further observation, whilst you will receive a second block of data for analysis.
The project is expected to last about two years, and should your computer have first detected an ET signal which is later confirmed then you will be one of the co-discoverers!
You can learn much more about the project by logging into the Seti@home website above. Good Hunting!
The SETI@home screen display
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