Solar flares postpone SETI@home re-observation

After one day of re-observing promising radio sources at the Arecibo radio telescope, the SETI@home project has been bumped from the telescope’s observing schedule until next Monday, March 24, so that researchers can observe a rare solar flare. Dan Werthimer, chief scientist of SETI@home and a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory, said, “It happens about once every two years at Arecibo that they have to bump everyone so they can observe a flare.” The change in plans was caused by the eruption of two solar flares on Monday and Tuesday (March 17 and 18). Similar events in the past have been known to interfere with communications and global positioning satellites.

Search for ET to look again at 150 signals

After more than a million years of computation by more than 4 million computers worldwide, the SETI@home screensaver that crunches data in search of intelligent signals from space has produced a list of candidate radio sources that deserve a second look. Three members of the SETI@home team will head to Puerto Rico this month to point the Arecibo radio telescope at up to 150 spots identified as the source of possible signals from intelligent civilizations. SETI@home is a computer program disguised as a screen saver that pops up when a computer is idle and analyzes radio telescope data in search of strong or unusual signals from space.