The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) conducted with the 84-foot radio telescope at the CfA's Oak Ridge Observatory, in Harvard, MA, will get a major upgrade on Monday, October 30, when the system changes from META to BETA, or Billion Channel Extraterrestrial Assay. Sponsored by The Planetary Society of Pasadena, CA, Project BETA will employ two simultaneous high-gain sky beams to achieve billion-channel sensitivity in the search for artificial signals from space, plus a third Earth-scanning antenna to eliminate any extraneous terrestrial signals. Opening ceremonies will begin at 11:00 am in front of the radio telescope when a Society member flips the switch to turn on the new system, representing a 300-fold gain over the old META's 8.4 million channels. Speakers will include Frank Drake, Freeman Dyson, and project director Paul Horowitz of Harvard. CfA staff, as well as their friends and families, are invited to attend and to bring lunches for the picnic that follows, weather permitting. In addition, a public presentation, "SETI: Hailing All Frequencies!," featuring Drake, Dyson, and Horowitz, will be given in Science Center C at 8:00 pm that evening. Tickets are $5 at the door. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, for more details.
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