SETI@Home – Help ET Phone Home

Do you believe in the possibility of extraterrestrial life?  If so then the most likely contact wont be little green men probing cavities that shouldn’t be probed, but will most likely come in the form of radio waves emanating from an alien planet.  The universe is full of naturally occurring radio waves, but the SETI project is looking for the non-random ones. 

Here is the official description from the SETI home page:

What is SETI@home?
SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

So how can you help you might ask?  Simple just go to, register and then download an application for your computer.  After you install the application SETI will use your extra CPU cycles that you aren’t using and examine those radio waves we talked about.

One item to note, for some reason this application grabbed 100% of my CPU and held on to it like a fat kid with a poptart.  This was easy to fix though by simply opening the interface (bottom right hand side of your screen) and limiting the CPU % to some other number.  In my case I chose 50%. 

 For those of us that are visually inclined (95% of the male population) then you will especially like the graphical representation of your computer as it crunches numbers and deciphers the space clutter.

Actual screenshot of my computer running the SETI application