As you make recall, SETI (the nonprofit Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute) is a group which is dedicated to discovering extra-terrestrial life in the universe, as made famous in the Jodi Foster film, Contact. And, if you follow the news, you’ll recall that funding for the Alien Telescope Array, used to search for that extraterrestrial life, was shut down this year due to budgetary restraints. Well, it turns out that Jodi Foster, star of Contact, has rushed in to the rescue.
According to The Christian Science Monitor:
The institute reached its goal last week of raising $200,000 to operate the telescope through the end of this year. The funds came from over 2,000 private donors, including the actress Jodie Foster, who played fictional SETI scientist Ellie Arroway in the 1997 movie “Contact.”
“Just like Ellie Arroway, the ATA is ‘good to go’ and we need to return it to the task of searching newly discovered planetary worlds for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence,” Foster wrote in a note accompanying her donation. “The Allen Telescope Array could turn science fiction into science fact, but only if it is actively searching the skies.”
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute’s Allen Telescope Array is a grouping of 42 radio dishes, “each 20 feet (6 meters) wide, at Hat Creek Radio Observatory in Northern California.” Together, the radio dishes work in unison to search for intelligent extraterrestrial species that would be generating non-random signals in space.
What do you think of Foster helping SETI out?