Oct 13, 2007

ATA have been activated

A new milestone in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence has been achieved. The University of California, Berkeley and the SETI Institute have announced that the first 42 radio dishes of the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) have been activated and collecting scientific data from the far reaches of the universe.

This is the first phase of a planned 350 radio dishes that will advance the capabilities of radio astronomy research. Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist whose foundation donated seed money that started the project in 2001, joined representatives of UC Berkeley and the SETI Institute to launch the array.

“This is a great day for the science of radio astronomy and the study of the cosmos,” said Leo Blitz, UC Berkeley professor of astronomy and director of the university’s Radio Astronomy Laboratory, which is building the ATA with the SETI Institute.

The ATA opens the doors to a new era of scientific progress. The telescope’s potential discoveries include a better understanding of exploding stars (supernovas), black holes, and new, exotic astronomical objects that are predicted but not yet observed. It will also provide expanded search capabilities to determine if intelligent civilizations have evolved around other stars. The ATA is the first panchromatic, wide-angle, snapshot, radio camera ever built. It is the most effective tool to create radio images of a vast area of the sky ever placed in the hands of researchers. Read More


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