|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2011)|
- Not to be confused with the SITE Institute.
The SETI Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to “explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe”. SETI stands for the "search for extraterrestrial intelligence". One program is the use of both radio and optical telescopes to search for deliberate signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Other research, pursued within the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, includes the discovery of extrasolar planets, potentials for life on Mars and other bodies within the Solar System, and the habitability of the galaxy (including the study of extremophiles). The SETI Institute’s public outreach efforts include working with teachers and students in promoting science education and the teaching of evolution, working with NASA on exploration missions such as Kepler and SOFIA, and producing a weekly science program: Big Picture Science.
Instruments used by SETI Institute scientists include the ground-based Allen Telescope Array, several ground-based optical telescopes such as the Shane telescope at Lick Observatory, the W.M. Keck telescopes & IRTF in Hawaii, the Very Large Telescopes in Chile. SETI researchers also use space telescope facilities, mostly the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Telescope. SETI scientists are also involved in space missions, the New Horizons mission toward Pluto, the Cassini mission, currently in orbit around Saturn, and the Mars Rovers Opportunity and Curiosity.
The SETI Institute was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit organization in 1984 by Thomas Pierson (CEO), and Dr. Jill Tarter. Financial and leadership support over the life of the SETI Institute has included Carl Sagan, Bernard Oliver, David Packard, William Hewlett, Gordon Moore, Paul Allen, Nathan Myhrvold, Lewis Platt, and Greg Papadopoulos. Two Nobel Laureates have been associated with the SETI Institute: Charles Townes, key inventor of the laser, and the late Baruch Blumberg, who discovered the Hepatitis B vaccine. Within the SETI Institute, Jill Tarter heads the SETI effort; Dr. David Morrison is the Director of the Carl Sagan Center, and Edna DeVore is the Director of Education and Public Outreach. Dr. Seth Shostak is Senior Astronomer, and host of Are We Alone? The SETI Institute is headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Funding for SETI Institute programs comes from a variety of sources. Contrary to popular belief, and their Form 990, no government funds are allocated for its SETI searches – these are financed entirely by private contributions. Other astrobiology research at the SETI Institute may be funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, or other grants and donations. TeamSETI is the SETI Institute’s worldwide membership and support organization.
Carl Sagan Center
The SETI Institute employs over 50 researchers that study all aspects of the search for life, its origins, the environment in which life develops, and its ultimate fate. They include Laurance Doyle, Peter Jenniskens, Pascal Lee, and Franck Marchis.
- Active SETI
- Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence
- Project Phoenix
- Wow! signal
- List of astronomical societies
- The SETI Institute Official Website
- Big Picture Science Radio Program Official Website
- Colloquium Series (including archives of past lectures)
- "SETI: Astronomy as a Contact Sport - A conversation with Jill Tarter", Ideas Roadshow, 2013