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Ham Radio Activities to Mark Launch of Alien Search
For more information contact: Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director
(201) 641-1770, or email info_at_setileague_dot_org

For Immediate Release

LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., March 15, 1996 -- To celebrate the kick-off of its long awaited Project Argus survey of the heavens, the non-profit SETI League, Inc. will be operating a special event amateur radio station from its New Jersey headquarters on Earth Day, April 21, 1996. Operating under the call of SETI League president Richard Factor, WA2IKL (that's "I Keep Listening"), the radioastronomy group will commence operation around 1600 UTC, seeking the first clear frequency above 14.204 MHz . The selected frequency is precisely one percent of the radiation frequency of interstellar hydrogen.

Perhaps the most ambitious radio astronomy project ever undertaken without Government equipment or funding, Project Argus (named after the all-seeing mythological Greek guard-beast with 100 eyes) is an effort to deploy and coordinate roughly 5,000 small radiotelescopes around the world, in an all-sky survey for microwave signals of possible intelligent extra-terrestrial origin. When fully operational, Project Argus will provide the first ever continuous monitoring of the entire sky, in all directions in real time.

Traditional research grade radiotelescopes can view only a small fraction of the sky at a given time, typically on the order of one part in a million. All sky coverage with these instruments would thus require a million telescopes, each at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. Project Argus will employ much smaller, quite inexpensive amateur radiotelescopes, built and operated by amateur radio experimenters at their individual expense. The equipment, although of modest sensitivity, is capable of detecting microwave radiation from technologically advanced civilizations out to a distance of several hundred light years.

SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.

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