LITTLE FERRY, NJ.., March, 2001 -- Since early in the last century, amateur radio operators have observed a tradition of exchanging postal cards to commemorate their on-the-air contacts. So-called QSL cards (named for the International Morse Code signal for 'confirmation') are used as proof of successful radio contact with stations in rare and distant locations. Many operators in exotic lands employ the services of a QSL manager to distribute their much sought after cards. Now, as the world's radio hams prepare for the eventual reception of signals from civilizations in space, the question arises as to how those succeeding at the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) will ever receive a QSL card.
The SETI League, Inc., a grass-roots, international body of radio hobbyists trying to accomplish the ultimate in long-distance communication, is pleased to announce that it will henceforth serve as QSL Manager for ET! In fact, to encourage amateur participation in the growing fields of radio astronomy and SETI, they are offering special cards to commemorate confirmed reception of a variety of extra-terrestrial signals: manmade, natural, and even alien.
Any SETI enthusiast documenting radio reception of an artificial satellite, manned or unmanned space probe, natural astrophysical phenomenon, or Earth transmission bounced off the moon or another planet, is eligible to apply for a QSL Card from The SETI League, Inc. Reception must have been accomplished with equipment normally used for, or capable of being used for, radio astronomy. "Many amateurs have the capability to receive such signals," says SETI League executive director Dr. H. Paul Shuch, who is licensed as amateur radio operator N6TX. "We expect to send out many such cards. But the holy grail of SETI is a verified transmission from our cosmic companions. That QSL will be a rare one, but we stand ready to send it out when The Call is confirmed."
Amateur radio astronomers seeking a QSL card should send reception reports (including date, time, frequency, coordinates, nature and origin of signal) to SETI League headquarters, along with a stamped, self-addressed business size envelope. QSL requests from outside the US should include two International Reply Coupons. Please state whether the signal received was natural, manmade, or alien (and be prepared to justify any claims of the latter).
SETI scientists seek to determine through microwave and optical measurements whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have been attempting to privatize the research. Experimenters interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, or citizens wishing to help support it, should email to join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at http://www.setileague.org/, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the electromagnetic Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.
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this page last updated 30 November 2002
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