SETI Institute set to re-open

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SETI's Allen Telescope Array
Image: Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill.

The SETI Institute, shut down since mid-April due to budget cuts, has announced that it will reopen in mid-September due to a recent influx of funds from several donors.

Over 2,500 donors, including actress Jodie Foster who popularized SETI ("Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence") in the movie Contact, provided $220,000 to keep the Institute's telescopes functioning.

"We are absolutely thrilled that thousands of people from all over the world stepped forward to declare their support for SETI science just when help was needed the most," said SETI through a press release.

As they continue to search for long-term funding, the Institute plans to use the money to study several Kepler planets, which were discovered by NASA scientists in early February. These planets are thought to be within a certain distance from their corresponding stars to be capable of supporting liquid water and thus potential life.