A massive radio telescope in rural West Virginia has begun listening for signs of alien life on 86 possible Earth-like planets, US astronomers said Friday.The giant dish began this week pointing toward each of the 86 planets — culled from a list of 1,235 possible planets identified by NASA‘s Kepler space telescope — and will gather 24 hours of data on each one.
“It’s not absolutely certain that all of these stars have habitable planetary systems, but they’re very good places to look for ET,” said University of California, Berkeley, graduate student Andrew Siemion.
The mission is part of the SETI project, which stands for Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, launched in the mid 1980s.
The project will likely take a year, and will be helped by a team of one million at-home astronomers, known as SETI@home users, who will help process the data on personal computers.
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