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Why the Peacock?
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Project Argus is named after the mythical Greek guard-being who had 100 eyes, and could see in all directions at once. Legend tells us that when Argus died, the gods put his eyes on the tail of the peacock. We believe those eyes more properly belong in the back gardens and schoolyards of countless amateur radio astronomy experimenters around the world. Thus, the logo for this key observational initiative of The SETI League, Inc., a membership supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation, incorporates a peacock.

The name Project Argus has been used several times in Science Fiction literature, generally to describe omnidirectional radio telescope arrays. It was the name used by Carl Sagan for the 131-dish array in his 1985 novel Contact, and by Arthur C. Clarke for the space-based radio telescope network in his 1976 book Imperial Earth. Dr. Bernard M. Oliver had originally considered Project Argus as the name for the giant SETI array proposed in a NASA study, but on discovering that Argus was registered as a trademark for an inexpensive camera, changed the title of that landmark work to Project Cyclops.

Finally, not to be confused with The SETI League's Project Argus all-sky survey, colleagues at Ohio State University are working on a next-generation radio telescope design, which they have dubbed the Argus Telescope. Such a phased array also seeks to see in all directions at once. The OSU effort is headed up by Dr. Robert Dixon, who also serves on The SETI League's advisory board.

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this page last updated 10 May 2003
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