Appropriately, the donation will be used to improve the infrastructure for picking up a very, very, long distance call.
The SETI Institute plans to more than double the sensitivity of the Allen Telescope Array, which, among other projects, scans for non-naturally occurring radio transmissions that could be a sign of a technologically advanced civilization elsewhere in the galaxy.
In conjunction with Antonio's gift, the SETI Institute is launching a $1 million fund-raising drive for a research project to explore some of the extrasolar planets being discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope and ground-based observatories.
The aim of the institute's science initiatives is to expand understanding of the origins of life and the extent to which life may be present beyond Earth.
Image: The SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array is getting an upgrade that will increase its range and sensitivity. Credit: SETI Institute