SETI sci.astro.seti newsgroup created

Larry Klaes (
Mon, 01 Nov 1999 11:21:16 -0500

From: David Woolley <> Subject: SETI sci.astro.seti newsgroup created To:
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 08:31:17 +0100 (BST) X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.4 PL25]

The sci.astro.seti newsgroup has been created, although I have some fear that it will attract the same rec. and comp. material as alt.sci.seti. alt.sci.seti still has more on topic SETI material than this list, even though it is only 2 or 3%.

This is the charter from the first Call for Votes (the creation control message didn't make it to the office because the office ISP has a 50% loss rate on their news feed) - note that USENET voting rules meant it was not possible report the CFV to this list before the end of the voting:

RATIONALE: sci.astro.seti

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is the scientific discipline of searching for electromagnetic evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations. SETI has received a lot of attention recently due to the SETI@home project. The SETI@home project has shown that at least several hundred thousand individuals are willing to dedicate computer resources to the search for alien radio signals. This has brought an increase in the amount of discussion of SETI and the possibilities of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI). Which has increased the number of posts about SETI in related newsgroups (sci.astro, etc.) by a large amount.

The SETI@home project is a distributed computing project which harnesses the computing power of hundreds of thousands of Internet connected computers to search for radio evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations. It is the newest and most public SETI project to date. Currently it has attracted almost a million people willing to donate computer time to this search. However, SETI@home is not the only SETI project, nor will it be the last new one. Several SETI projects are on the drawing board (1HT, etc.) and many of them will require as much or more computing power as the SETI@home project uses currently. It would be surprising if none of these new SETI programs use the distributed computing model that has allowed SETI@home to harness computing power equivalent to multi-million dollar super-computers for very low costs.

This newsgroup will serve as a forum for discussion of SETI in general, and any SETI projects in specific. This includes discussion of SETI@home, both it's scientific aspects, as well as the use, configuration, and troubleshooting of the SETI@home client software and any similar software by future SETI projects. Additionally, it will serve as a place to discuss the technical specifics of all current and future SETI projects, and as a place for teachers who are developing curricula around SETI projects (such as SETI@home).

CHARTER: sci.astro.seti

This group will be unmoderated and distributed worldwide. This newsgroup is intended for the discussion of the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

Appropriate topics for discussion include the following:

  1. Discussion of SETI projects (such as SERINDIP, Phoenix, SETI@home, BETA, ARGUS, etc.)
  2. Installation and configuration of the SETI@home client or other SETI projects using distributed computing.
  3. Trouble shooting the use of the SETI client programs.
  4. The possibilities of Alien life (Drake equation, planetary abundance and its relavance to SETI, etc.)
  5. Discussion of statistical results for SETI projects.
  6. The potential content of alien messages and how to decode them, as well as any messages we (humans) have / will / could send into space that are intended for ETI's (such as the Voyager record, the Arecibo message to M13, the Encounter 2001 project, etc.)
  7. Potential alien technology in the context of detection / communication by / with humans (using visible light lasers instead of radio, for example).
  8. Discussion of school curricula built around a SETI program

Inappropriate posts include:

  1. Commercial advertisements of any kind, including those for items related to SETI or any SETI project.
  2. Binaries, with the exception of cryptographic signatures.
  3. Discussions concerning UFOs, "alien abductions", etc, which should take place in other groups.