The [email protected] project will receive its 500 millionth result this week, but the shared computing initiative is yet to hear from ET.
The project, which uses the spare computing power of volunteers from around the world to analyse data in a search for intelligent alien life, has received 497,976,462 results to date.
Eric Korpela, a project scientist with [email protected], said that in two days it should cross the 500 million mark.
Faced with 50Tb of information to analyse, [email protected] asked the public for help back in 1999. Volunteers downloaded a screensaver from its website and turned their computers' idle time to crunching numbers for the project.
Korpela explained that [email protected] has now clocked up almost one million years of computing time. "We had 453,000 computers running continuously in the last 24 hours," he said.
Although the project is yet to find evidence of alien life, the project has recently concentrated on processing more promising signals.
Scientists looking at the results have said that they will only organise a modest party to celebrate the 500 millionth result.
"We are saving the good Champagne for when we really find something. Maybe we'll just have some cheap Champagne this week," said Korpela.
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