SETI@home shuts down after successful 21-year run

SETI@home shuts down after successful 21-year run

Pack it up, boys, we got ’em!

SETI@home has shut down. The project, which was dedicated to hunting radio transmissions for signs of alien life, ran for 21 years and is being “hibernated” because, as the researchers note, “basically, we’ve analyzed all the data we need for now.”

From the news release:

On March 31, the volunteer computing part of SETI@home will stop distributing work and will go into hibernation.

We’re doing this for two reasons:

1) Scientifically, we’re at the point of diminishing returns; basically, we’ve analyzed all the data we need for now.

2) It’s a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper.

However, SETI@home is not disappearing. The web site and the message boards will continue to operate. We hope that other UC Berkeley astronomers will find uses for the huge computing capabilities of SETI@home for SETI or related areas like cosmology and pulsar research. If this happens, SETI@home will start distributing work again. We’ll keep you posted about this.

If you’re currently running SETI@home on your computer, we encourage you to attach to other BOINC-based projects as well. Or use Science United and sign up to do astronomy. You can stay attached to SETI@home, of course, but you won’t get any jobs until we find new applications.

Obviously what the team isn’t saying is that they’ve found intelligent life in space and they’re hoarding the knowledge for themselves, a thought that is at once titillating and frightening. I, for one, welcome our alien overlords.

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