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Images of the Week for 1996

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During last month's AMSAT Annual Meeting and Space Symposium in Tucson, AZ, several SETI League members had an opportunity to tour this 25-meter millimeter-wave radio telescope at Kitt Peak. The instrument is one of a dozen spread across North America, which comprise NRAO's very long baseline interferometer (VLBI). This dish is roughly the same size as the one employed by Dr. Frank Drake in 1960 for the world's first microwave SETI project, and the one currently used by Harvard University's Dr. Paul Horowitz for his Project BETA sky survey.
SETI League photo

28 December 1996

This CW signal from the Mars Global Surveyor was received by SETI League member Mike Cook on 25 November 1996, while the spacecraft was about 5 million km from Earth. The satellite's 1.3 Watt beacon transmitter, into an omnidirectional antenna, provided SETI enthusiasts with an excellent dry run to verify the operation of their receivers and digital signal processing software. Several other SETI League members were also able to recover the signal utilizing Mike's FFTDSP shareware program. See Mike's new article for further details.
AF9Y image

21 December 1996

The SETI League is honored to welcome radio astronomer and Project Phoenix scientist Dr. Jill C. Tarter as a new member. Jill is seen here with SETI Institute executive director Tom Pierson (himself a Charter Member), and our own executive director, H. Paul Shuch (l), at a reception in Mountain View, CA this January. Jill, Tom, and their SETI Institute colleagues have been of invaluable assistance during The SETI League's formative years, and we look forward to extensive future collaboration.
SETI League photo by Muriel Hykes

14 December 1996

Caught in the act: executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch committing premeditated music. This picture was taken at the Piled Higher and Deeper concert at the LAcon III World Science Fiction Convention in September, where Paul introduced his award-winning song The Rock That's From The Fourth Rock From The Sun.

Stan Burns photo, © 1996, Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, Inc.


7 December 1996

The SETI League has won yet another trophy for science songwriting! Last November at Philcon, the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society's annual convention, we won second place for The SETI League Anthem. This year it's a first place for The Rock That's From The Fourth Rock From The Sun. See this Press Release for further details.

SETI League photo


30 November 1996

Two years after its monumental Australian deployment, the Project Phoenix targeted search is underway again, this time from the NRAO 140 foot radio telescope at Green Bank, WV. This privatized SETI survey is being conducted by our colleagues at the California-based SETI Institute.

SETI League photo


23 November 1996

The SETI League remembers Dr. Bernard M. Oliver (r) on the first anniversary of his death. Formerly Vice-President of Engineering for Hewlett-Packard Company, Dr. Oliver was one of the true SETI pioneers. He visited the National Radio Astronomy Observatory when Frank Drake was preparing to conduct Project Ozma in 1960, attended the first SETI meeting there a year later, headed the Project Cyclops study group in 1971, later directed NASA's SETI program, and served on The SETI League's initial advisory board.

SETI League photo


16 November 1996

The late SETI pioneer Tony Wojtowicz with his SETI receivers and signal processing computer. Tony passed away just over a year ago. This equipment has been donated to The SETI League by the Wojtowicz family.

Click here for additional photos of the Wojtowicz SETI station.

Aline Wojtowicz photo


9 November 1996

This ten metre diameter dish is operated by the "Ricken-Sued" Swiss amateur group for radio astronomy, and soon, SETI. Click for more photos of this project.

Photo courtesy of Alfred Wasser, SETI League volunteer coordinator for Switzerland


2 November 1996

Close-up view of the dual feedhorns installed on the five metre SETI dish of Magin Casanitjana, EA3UM. These cylindrical waveguide feedhorns utilize choke rings per the VE4MA design, to improve illumination efficiency. Note that the hydrogen-line feed is slightly offset from center. This technique allows Project Argus participants to do parasitic SETI with a dish normally utilized for some other purpose. See related article.

EA3UM photo


26 October 1996

While SETI League president Richard Factor looks on, administrator Heather Wood shows off his recent front-page photo in the Daily Record. The headline reads "League leads far-out hunt."

Photo by Janet Kagan


19 October 1996

SETI League member Mike Gingell, KN4BS, at his North Carolina QTH, shows off his two dishes, 12 and 10 feet in diameter, used for radio astronomy, satellite TV, and of course SETI.

KN4BS photo

KN4BS antennas

12 October 1996

SETI League member Daniel Fox has produced this System Block Diagram for amateur SETI, which has formed the basis for most of the stations assembled by our Project Argus pioneers. Dan's diagram is the centerpiece of our Technical Manual.

Drawing by KF9ET

Block Diagram

5 October 1996

At the recent Bioastronomy '96 conference, SETI League Den Mother Muriel Hykes shares her favorite scholarly journal with SETI pioneer Dr. Philip Morrison.

SETI League photo

Philip Morrison

28 September 1996

Angelika Gerke, wife of Peter Wright, DJ0BI, the SETI League's coordinator for Germany, paints the European Radio Astronomy Club's 3 metre dish. Plans are to allocate this radiotelescope for SETI about 25% of the time. The Faraday cage below the antenna is an equipment housing, containing a computer-controlled IF receiver tuning 25 - 1000 MHz. Downconverters will be mounted at the antenna feed.

DJ0BI photo

DJ0BI dish

21 September 1996

This 7 metre diameter parabolic antenna is the handiwork of SETI League member and Project Argus participant Magin Casanitjana, EA3UM. Located in Spain, it went on the air on April 21, 1996, among the first operational Project Argus stations in Europe.

EA3UM photo

EA3UM dish

14 September 1996

Anomalous signal detected by SETI League member Trevor Unsworth at 1471.5 MHz, using a homemade 3.5 meter dish. The signal exhibited digital modulation, with a 270 Hz bandwidth. Its Doppler shift of -25 Hz/min marks it as RFI from a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite. Though clearly not of extra-terrestrial origin, this signal gave Project Argus its first real workout, testing both the sensitivity of our receiving stations, and our ability to recognize terrestrial and satellite interference. See associated editorial.

G0ECP image

G0ECP Signal

7 September 1996

The reputed fossil evidence of microbial life from the Allan Hills meteorite, though genuinely exciting, is not entirely unprecedented. These electron microscope images by Hans Dieter Pflug, dating to the early 1980's, appear to reveal the presence of fossilized micro-organisms within the Murchison meterorite. Long considered controversial, Pflug's work now appears largely substantiated by the recent NASA find.

Photos from Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe, Copyright © 1983 by Dorling Kindersley Limited, p. 60

Pflug image

31 August 1996

Planet hunter Michel Mayor (c) and his wife Francois join SETI League director H. Paul Shuch in a rousing chorus of the Pegasus 51 song. Dr. Mayor, of the Geneva Observatory, is the discoverer of 51 Pegasi b, the first planet detected around another sun-like star. At the BioAstronomy '96 Conference, he reported on his recent discovery of several Brown Dwarf stars.

SETI League photo

Michel Mayor

22 August 1996

This 4.5 billion-year-old rock, labeled meteorite ALH84001, is believed to have once been a part of Mars and to contain fossil evidence that primitive life may have existed on Mars more than 3.6 billion years ago. The rock is a portion of a meteorite that was dislodged from Mars by a huge impact about 16 million years ago and that fell to Earth in Antarctica 13,000 years ago. The meteorite was found in Allan Hills ice field, Antarctica, by an annual expedition of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Meteorite Program in 1984. It is preserved for study at the Johnson Space Center's Meteorite Processing Laboratory in Houston.

NASA caption and photo

Click for related photos.


15 August 1996

This high-resolution scanning electron microscope image shows an unusual tube-like structural form that is less than 1/100th the width of a human hair in size found in meteorite ALH84001, a meteorite believed to be of Martian origin. Although this structure is not part of the research published in the Aug. 16 issue of the journal Science, it is located in a similar carbonate glob in the meteorite. This structure will be the subject of future investigations that could confirm whether or not it is fossil evidence of primitive life on Mars 3.6 billion years ago.

Caption and photo courtesy NASA

Mars microbe

7 August 1996

SETI League executive director H. Paul Shuch (R) chats with radioastronomy pioneer Grote Reber (W9GFZ), in the shadow of his creation, the world's first true radiotelescope.

KN4BS photo

Grote Reber

31 July 1996

Click here for lots more pictures.

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