The Cost of the ATA


In my various discussions with people it has become apparent that many are not aware that the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) requires only $2.5M a year to be fully staffed and operational. That is a very small amount of money given the superior capabilities of the ATA, and a testament to the design and craftsmanship of the system.

NPR's SciFri Voyager Podcast

Today on NPR's Science Friday radio show the topic was the Voyager 1 space probe. The host Ira Flatow interviewed Ed Stone, Chief Scientist, Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He has been working on the Voyager program since 1972!

You can hear a podcast of the show at It is very interesting. See the listen widget near the upper left of the page.

Summer Intern hopes to revitalize setiQuest, self

Just in from the fire-scorched earth and climate of the Texas hill country, I quickly established myself in the cool and dry weather that Mountain View offers.

I am here at SETI from the University of Texas at Austin as a summer intern. I eagerly accepted the project to revamp the setiQuest explorer program, and attract new people to the community. I'm not sure where this project will take me, but I look forward to the journey more than the destination.

setiQuest is in Good Hands

setiQuest has been a great two-year journey, with many of you lending a hand along the way. It is now time for me to step back, and participate as a community member, rather than be the driver.

What started as Jill Tarter's 2009 TED Prize Wish -  "I wish that you would empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company" - is now a recognized project. Many people had a hand in its success; here are some, listed in a rough chronological order of their appearence in the project.

jrseti at the ATA - With Videos!

I'm At The ATA!

I am at the ATA for several days getting a refresher source from Samantha Blair. Samantha is the key person person who lives on-site and keeps the ATA up and running. Unfortunately for us she has to leave in several weeks, she got a job at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).  We wish her luck!

Orphan Planets: Some Thoughts From Frank Drake and Others

Frank Drake shared some of his views on ophan planets at a SETI Institute colloquium yesterday. This was in response to an audience question to the panel he was on.

We think of planets being in orbits around stars like our Sun. There has been speculation and now apparently evidence of the existence of planets not attached to any star - they are called orphan planets.

Gamify contest off to good start

You may have seen our previous blog announcing our new ideas contest at See to view that blog entry.

So far there have been a lot of great ideas! See the discussion taking place at

U.C. Berkeley SETI at Green Bank

Article - US astronomers launch search for alien life on 86 planets

Looks like U.C. Berkeley's SETI team (creators of seti@home) is now using the world's largest steerable radio-telescope, the Green Bank Telescope, to conduct The Search on 86 exoplanet candidates, which were found relatively recently by scientists using NASA's Kepler space telescope.  Per the article the ~1 year project is to gather 24 hours of data on each targeted planet.

View HabCat stars and Observed Stars Mapped in Google Sky!

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I am wrapping up my internship with SETI Institute as a participant of the URSA program. For my final project for setiQuest, I have created a Google Sky KML which shows the HabCat stars viewable by the ATA and the stars from the list which have been observed by the ATA.   

HabCat is a list of stars based on the Hipparcos Catalog which have been identified as possibly having habitable planets. The list was created by Jill Tarter and Maggie Turnbull.

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