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Closer Than Ever: SETI Expands Search for Alien Intelligence

Image credit: Simon Steel/SETI Institute

The quest for alien intelligence intensifies as SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) expands its efforts, bringing us closer to potential breakthroughs in the search for cosmic companions. 

Embark on a captivating journey into the exploration of extraterrestrial intelligence with Bill Diamond, the SETI Institute’s President and CEO. Uncover the diverse techniques employed to detect potential intelligent life, ranging from studying extreme Earth environments to employing space-based telescopes for Earth-like planet analysis.

Situated in Silicon Valley, the SETI Institute is at the forefront of revolutionary research in astronomy, astrophysics, astrobiology, exoplanets, and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). In an exclusive interview with, Bill Diamond delves into the mounting evidence supporting the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Moving away from the traditional inquiry of “Are we alone?” Diamond underscores the transformation of SETI endeavors, emphasizing a recent upswing in worldwide, all-encompassing initiatives. Notably, the groundbreaking COSMIC SETI project stands out among these comprehensive efforts.

COSMIC, operating in collaboration with the Very Large Array in New Mexico, marks a milestone in SETI searches, analyzing data for “technosignatures” – telltale signs of advanced civilizations. The Allen Telescope Array (ATA) near San Francisco has undergone significant enhancements, thanks to a generous donation from the late Franklin Antonio, co-founder of Qualcomm.

The ATA’s expanded capabilities now extend to investigating enigmatic Fast Radio Bursts, contributing to the institute’s multi-disciplinary research. A $200 million philanthropic gift from Antonio is set to elevate the institute’s research, education, and outreach initiatives.

SETI Institute’s call for global research proposals invites contributions to advanced technology and experiments. Diamond suggests that, given NASA’s interest in the fundamental question of extraterrestrial life, it might be time for the government to re-engage in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Leveraging NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which identified billions of exoplanets, is already contributing to SETI work. Diamond asserts that, with the convergence of various technologies and instruments, the government should actively participate in answering the question “Are we alone?”

Despite ongoing research, Diamond acknowledges that society may not be fully prepared for a confirmed extraterrestrial revelation. As we edge closer to uncovering the truth, considerations must be made regarding the potential impact on society, religion, politics, and technology.

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