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[Engadget/SETI] Save Arecibo: because aliens don't do voicemail

post #1 of 36
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The folks at SETI@home have put out a desperate plea for the community to bust out those quill pens and start writing strongly-worded letters to congress persons. Apparently the Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest radio telescope and SETI@home's data source, is being threatened with some massive budget cuts. Given that a replacement for Arecibo won't be online until 2020 at best, folks are understandably upset. Turns out Arecibo is also one of the best shots we have at detecting an earth-threatening astroid before it's too late and we have to sit through another Elijah Wood movie on the subject. You know what you have to do.
Quote:
Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest radio telescope and the source for the SETI@home data that your computer analyzes, faces massive budget cuts that will END its ability to continue the search for life beyond Earth. The decision to ensure full funding currently rests upon votes in Congress on Senate Bill S. 2862 and House Resolution H.R. 3737. These bills desperately need more support.

Please take a moment to help us SAVE ARECIBO.

Clicking the link below will direct you to a web page that allows you print out letters prepared for your Senators and Congressional Representative urging them to support Arecibo. Printing and mailing the letters is really easy, too! You will also have the chance to add a few personal thoughts, if you wish, to let your Senators and Representative know why this funding is important to you! And if you're really feeling passionate about saving Arecibo, please use these letters as the basis for letters you write yourself, urging your congressmen and women to vote to save Arecibo.

Because our representatives in Congress rarely give much attention to all the email they receive, printing out and MAILING these letters via standard U.S. Postal mail remains our best option for contacting them and our best hope for saving Arecibo (The second best option is to call your representatives). Your 42 cent stamps on these letters could help us get the millions of dollars needed to save Arecibo.

Our search cannot continue without the necessary support. Your work, as SETI@home participants, represents an indispensable resource for conducting the search. Now, we need your help to ensure that our other most valuable resource - our eyes and ears to the cosmos - can continue to probe the universe as we seek to answer the question: Is there anybody out there?

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/arecibo_letter.php

Thank you for your help,

The SETI@home Team
Sources: Article Email How to help
post #2 of 36
For the record, Arecibo's yearly budget is about $12 million.
In before "Its a waste of money we should spend it on solving our own problems!!!!1111"
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post #3 of 36
Listening for aliens, what a worthy cause...
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post #4 of 36
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Originally Posted by The Bartender Paradox View Post
For the record, Arecibo's yearly budget is about $12 million.
In before "Its a waste of money we should spend it on solving our own problems!!!!1111"
Not anymore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
A report by the division of Astronomical Sciences of the National Science Foundation[3], made public on 2006-11-03, recommended substantially decreased astronomy funding for Arecibo Observatory, ramping down from USD 10.5M in 2007 to USD 4M in 2011.[4]. If other sources of funding cannot be obtained, this would mean the closure of the observatory. The report also advised that 80% of the observation time be allocated to the surveys already in progress, reducing the time available for other scientific work. NASA gradually eliminated its share of the planetary radar funding at Arecibo from 2001-2006[5].
Source: Wikipedia

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabidgnome229 View Post
Listening for aliens, what a worthy cause...
Personally I find it more worthwhile for my computer to do SETI@Home than Folding@Home, but in any case both are important. It also detects asteroids headed towards Earth.
post #5 of 36
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Originally Posted by DigitalSonata View Post
Personally I find it more worthwhile for my computer to do SETI@Home than Folding@Home, but in any case both are important. It also detects asteroids headed towards Earth.
I wonder what's less likely, SETI finding aliens or SETI finding a major asteroid heading for Earth? Of course, it's all academic because neither will happen.
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post #6 of 36
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Originally Posted by DigitalSonata View Post
Not anymore
Source: Wikipedia



Personally I find it more worthwhile for my computer to do SETI@Home than Folding@Home, but in any case both are important. It also detects asteroids headed towards Earth.
So you'd rather help try to find aliens than maybe end up saving someone's life because a protein you folded helped with the research for a new drug to reverse the effects of a deadly disease?

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

EDIT: Didn't see that last part. But either way... have we even had any major asteroid collisions so far anyway? No.
 
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post #7 of 36
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Originally Posted by onlycodered View Post
So you'd rather help try to find aliens than maybe end up saving someone's life because a protein you folded helped with the research for a new drug to reverse the effects of a deadly disease?

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

EDIT: Didn't see that last part. But either way... have we even had any major asteroid collisions so far anyway? No.
Eh well I doubt one less person folding is going to make a difference in the long run, its just my preference to do SETI@Home because it interests me more, as well as some other @Home projects (climate prediction, ect).
post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabidgnome229 View Post
I wonder what's less likely, SETI finding aliens or SETI finding a major asteroid heading for Earth? Of course, it's all academic because neither will happen.
Thats what the dinosaurs said....
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post #9 of 36
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Originally Posted by rabidgnome229 View Post
I wonder what's less likely, SETI finding aliens or SETI finding a major asteroid heading for Earth? Of course, it's all academic because neither will happen.
While two of the most publicised focuses of Arecibo are SETI and asteroid detection, that's not all it does. Indeed, if it were it would be an incredible waste. Arecibo also does all manner of radio astronomy, radar astronomy, and atmospheric science. It has done such stuff as discover the first extrasolar planets, mapped the distrobution of galixies in the universe, made significant advances in the understanding of the chemistry and dynamics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere, and so on.

Like almost any other science program, it contributes a lot more to science than just what it was intended for.
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post #10 of 36
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Originally Posted by rabidgnome229 View Post
I wonder what's less likely, SETI finding aliens or SETI finding a major asteroid heading for Earth? Of course, it's all academic because neither will happen.
I TRULY hope you're completely right about that last one, for ALL of our sake. But then, you almost certainly aren't, but ignorance is bliss. I just wish I was more blissful!
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