The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has resumed at the Allen Telescope Array in northern California. The ATA was in hibernation for months due to a lack of funding. But new cash came in from the public (yay, public support of science!) and also the US Air Force "as part of a formal assessment of the instrument's utility for Space Situational Awareness." Exoplanet candidates found via NASA's Kepler space telescope will be one focus of the resumed effort. From the SETI Institute:
"This is a superb opportunity for SETI observations," said Jill Tarter, the Director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute. "For the first time, we can point our telescopes at stars, and know that those stars actually host planetary systems – including at least one that begins to approximate an Earth analog in the habitable zone around its host star. That's the type of world that might be home to a civilization capable of building radio transmitters…"
"Kepler's success has created an amazing opportunity to focus SETI research. While discovery of new exoplanets via Kepler is backed with government monies, the search for evidence that some of these worlds might be home to intelligence falls to SETI alone. And our SETI exploration depends entirely on private donations, for which we are deeply grateful to our donors," notes Tarter.