Famous for listening for signals from alien civilisations, SETI had its funding yanked in 1993, turning it into a private venture with very little money. Reportedly, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner will be infusing $100 million over the next decade, allowing the organisation to obtain active telescope time, rather than piggybacking on the research of others, as they have had to do in the past.
The money for Breakthrough Listen, as Mr. Milner calls the effort, is one of the biggest chunks of cash ever proffered for the so far fruitless quest for cosmic companionship known as the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI. It will allow astronomers to see the kinds of radar used for air traffic control from any of the closest 1,000 stars, and to detect a laser with the power output of a common 100-watt light bulb from the distance of the nearest stars, some four light-years away, according to Mr. Milner’s team.
It also guarantees bounteous observing time on some of the world’s biggest radio telescopes — a rarity for SETI astronomers who are used to getting one night a year.
|The Spaceship Propulsion Compendium|
|Outer Space: Saturn|
|"If this is true, the space race is about to get interesting."|
|"A single platinum-rich asteroid 90 feet in diameter could be worth as much as $50 billion."|
|"The journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun."|
|“Google and Facebook figured out how to commodify 'reality' itself by tracking what people do.”|
|“New York Central trains in the Hudson River valley in 1928 and 1929”|
|“The latest warning sign for cities who are considering signing over public spaces to major tech companies.”|
|“Scientific evidence that digital distraction is damaging our minds.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“Buying a new smartphone every two years is taking a toll on the planet.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."|
|“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”|
|“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”|
|“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”|