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SETI and Project Phoenix

Project Phoenix is the world's most sensitive and comprehensive search for
extraterrestrial intelligence. It is an effort to detect extraterrestrial civilizations by
listening for radio signals that are either being deliberately beamed our way, or are
inadvertently transmitted from another planet. Phoenix is the successor to the
ambitious NASA SETI program that was cancelled by a budget-conscious
Congress in 1993.
               


Phoenix began observations in February,
1995 using the Parkes 210 foot radio
telescope in New South Wales, Australia.
This is the largest radio telescope in the
Southern Hemisphere.

Phoenix doesn't scan the whole sky.
Rather, it scrutinizes the vicinities of
nearby, sun-like stars. Such stars are most
likely to host long-lived planets capable of supporting life.


There are about one thousand stars targeted
for observation by Project Phoenix. All are
within 200 light-years distance.

Because millions of radio channels are
simultaneously monitored by Phoenix, most
of the "listening" is done by computers.
Nonetheless, astronomers are required to
make critical decisions about signals that
look intriguing.


Phoenix looks for signals between 1,000 and 3,000
MHz. Signals that are at only one spot on the radio dial
(narrow-band signals) are the "signature" of an
intelligent transmission. The spectrum searched by
Phoenix is broken into very narrow 1 Hz-wide
channels, so two billion channels are examined for each
target star.

Observations are currently being made using the 140
foot radio telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia. For
a report from the astronomers on duty, check out
observations.

By mid-1996, Phoenix had examined approximately one-third of the stars on its
"hit list." So far, no clearly extraterrestrial transmissions have been found. But the
faint whine that would betray an alien civilization might be heard tomorrow.

Project Phoenix is sustained entirely through private funding. Find out how you
can help support the search.


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SETI and Project Phoenix Links

NRAO: National Radio Astronomy Association
SETI Institute: The SETI Institute is in charge of Project Phoenix
Green Bank : Green Bank Radio telescope is where they are conducting Project Phoenix
Ohio State: Ohio State SETI Project at the Big Ear
Big Ear: Big Ear Radio telescope at Ohio State
U.C. Berkely: U.C. Berkely's SETI Project
SETI League: The SETI League organiztion
Harvard: SETI Project at Harvard (Project BETA)
NASA SETI: NASA Ames Research Center