Are we Alone in the Universe?

This project uses the largest fully steerable radio telescope on Earth to search for evidence of civilizations in the galaxy. 

You can help identify the most promising signals in the data. Learn how to identify the common classes of radio frequency interference (RFI) to weed out the noise and find the signals that might indicate extraterrestrial intelligence. Your classifications will also be used to develop artificial intelligence tools to accelerate the search.

Go to Project Website


18 and up







What you’ll do

  • Learn to recognize common patterns in radio frequency emissions that correspond to known sources--the rest might be aliens!
  • Identify the most promising signals in SETI data for further investigation.
  • You might be the one to find the first evidence of alien intelligence!


  • Time: 2-4 minutes to complete online training.
  • Equipment: Internet connected device
  • Knowledge: None. An in-project tutorial is provided.

Get started!

  1. Visit our project website.
  2. Watch the brief tutorial to learn how to use the reference materials and identify the data patterns.
  3. Examine and classify images of radio signals.

Learn More

All natural objects emit radio waves. Radio telescopes are designed to detect these radio waves or signals. Scientists have been studying radio signals for decades and know the patterns natural and human-made radio waves can take. University of Southern California’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI operates a radio telescope that observes thousands of stars in the sky and makes 5 million signal detections per hour. Automated data processing can discard 99.5% of these as human-made. Scientists need your help in classifying the remaining signals to identify the most promising - namely, the ones most likely to have been produced by alien technology. Read much more about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence on the project’s About page.

Group photo of 6 people standing under a math equation on the board.
The Are We Alone in the Universe Science and Communications Team prior to the project launch. From left to right: Ella, Jay, Megan, Jeremy, Priscella, Jean-Luc. Not pictured: Liam.  On the white board is the Drake equation, which provides an estimate of the number of communicative civilizations in the Galaxy.
For more, see our blog post: 
A thick purple circle is bisected from lower left to upper right by a thinner line that tapers at each end, reminiscent of a ring around a planet as seen from the edge. In the center of the ring is a purple shape that looks vaguely like a human head, with round top and pointy chin. Only this head has two large white almond-shaped eyes. It is an alien.
The center of the Milky Way Galaxy appears as a irregular line of interstellar dust sprinkled with stars across the image frame. A stream of 1s and 0s shoots out of the center of the image, symbolizing the digital data an advanced civilization might communicate using radio waves.
This is a view from Earth towards the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The string of binary code running out of the galactic center is the visual representation of the Are We Alone in the Universe project.
Figure shows a grid of four black squares patterned with white lines and spots represent four of the common patterns of radio signal data being examined in this project. Above the grid are the words “Mix of Horizontal and Vertical Features.”  The upper left square is labeled “HVN” and shows short horizontal lines evenly distributed across the square. The upper right box shows three broad rows of densely packed  white dots, and three bright vertical stripes, each reaching halfway down the square,  evenly distributed across the square. The lower left is labeled “HVS” and shows larger, bright white spots that look smeared left and right, in two roughly vertical columns on the left side of the square. The bottom right square is labeled “HVP” has a nearly even distribution of dots save for three darker columns on the right side and three horizontal stripes of fewer, bigger white dots.
These are four of the twenty common classes of radio signals seen in the Are We Alone in the Universe datasets.