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SETI stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

SETI@home is a scientific initiative launched by the University of California, Berkeley, with the goal of discovering radio signals from extraterrestrial intelligence.

For this purpose, a radio telescope in Puerto Rico records a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from outer space. This data is sent to the central SETI@home server in California. There, they take advantage of the fact that the greater part of processor cycles on private and business computers remains idle. Rather than analyzing the data in a costly supercomputer, the SETI server divides the data into smaller units and sends these units to the several million computers made available by the volunteers who have registered to participate in this project. The SETI client carries out the calculations during the idle processor cycles of the participants' computers and then sends back the results.


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