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W.Va. telescope part of international effort seeking intelligent life in galaxy, beyond

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MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — West Virginia's Green Bank Telescope is one half of an international team searching for intelligent life in the universe.

The partnership was announced this week by an entrepreneur and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. The 10-year, $100 million initiative will use the Pocahontas County telescope and the Parkes Telescope in Australia — the two most powerful telescopes in the world.

Scientists will gather data from the 1 million stars closest to Earth. The powerful telescopes will even probe beyond the Milky Way to listen for signs from the closest 100 galaxies.

Earl Scime is chairman of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University. He says there are few places in the world where this type of research can be conducted.

WVU has a close relationship with Green Bank.

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