SETI has 150 canidates

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by peter2002, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. peter2002 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Out of 5 billion bursts of radio noise flowing into more than 4 million computers around the world, Berkeley scientists say they have identified the first 150 "candidate" sources for what just might turn out to be signals from intelligent beings on some distant planet somewhere in the universe.

    As a result, space researchers at UC Berkeley are heading for Puerto Rico this month to focus America's most powerful radio telescope on the puzzling noises.

    But they aren't planning on any close encounters anytime soon.

    "I give it a 1-in-10,000 chance that one of our candidate signals turns out to be from E.T.," said project physicist Dan Werthimer.


    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/03/12/MN129485.DTL

    I have been running that screensaver for 3 years. They may discover ET someday.

    Pete :)
     
  2. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #2
    Does anyone besides me expect some of these to turn out to be radio reflections of our own broadcasts?
     
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #3
    Well, reflections off of what? If the signals are found to be from out side the solar system, a reflection seems highly unlikely, the signal would be so weak.

    And even if they do find something interesting - it'll be decades or centuries (depends on where the signals are coming from) before we can actually 'communitcate'.

    This might just be an attempt to get some publicity, who knows....;)

    D
     
  4. backspinner macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I think these broadcasts are the solutions to all the "Folding at home" problems - just sent there by aliens to get us all going back to searching just for them only. J/K ;)
     
  5. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #5
    There are forces of gravity and space debris that we can not comprehend or predict. Remember the dishes they are using to listen to this stuff with are sensitive enough to pick up the static pop given off by an ant fart.
     
  6. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #6
    Yeah, but at the same time, we're having problems catching the signals from Voyager - and also remember the distances we're talking about - 10s of lightyears....

    D
     
  7. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #7
    When they listen for Voyager they are using one dish. In radio astoronomy they often connect dishes from all over the world giving them an thousands upon thousands increase in sensitivity.
     
  8. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #8
    I realize that - but if you take into account the distance of lightyears and even with the interferometry used by multiple telescopes, any signal that makes its way that far would have to be extremely strong.

    I'm going to be very curious to see what sort of results they get.

    D
     
  9. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

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    #9
    I agree but a standar radio transmission from any station on earth is more powerful then that of Voyager. Therfore they could pick up a signal relected back from the oort cloud or something else and because of distortion or what not could initially be confused for a potential hit.
     
  10. Stelliform macrumors 68000

    Stelliform

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    #10
    Warning, Off-topic plug for team MacRumors!

    This is an interesting project, and it has revolutionized big science on little budgets. (and it is clever, and doesn't let technology idle, which I firmly believe in.) But.....

    What SETI is doing is not the Important news here. The Important news is our distributed computing team is moving quickly up the ranks with all of the new members. We are making MacRumors a force to be reckoned with. So, why aren't you, you know who I am talking to, helping out! :D

    Folding @ Home FAQ
     
  11. howard macrumors 68020

    howard

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    #11
    i agree with dukestreet, its just a publicity stunt, they didn't find anything
     
  12. Maclicious macrumors regular

    Maclicious

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    #12
    Publicity stunt toward what end? They either confirm these candidates, or they don't. If they don't, SETI has no more data to work on, anyway (and no one is likely to provide another round of data collection if the first round produces such a big nothing, at least for a while). If they do find something interest, there is still no more data from the original data collection, but at least these 'confirmations' will make interesting targets for many non-affiliated radio-telescopes around the world.

    I'm looking forward to see if any of these signals truly produces a result.
     
  13. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #13
    Well, the Arecibo, Puerto Rico observatory is just one huge dish 1000 ft. across (the same dish featured in the movie Goldeneye). It was built in 1963 before astronomers got the idea to use arrays of antennas, but it's still one of the world's most powerful telescopes.

    I really, really doubt these 150 signals are anything reflected from Earth. Either they're nothing or they might be some newly discovered astronomical phenomena (some new type of deep space high-energy object, for example). I guess we'll find out soon enough :)
     
  14. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    #14
    To get more funding so that these astronomers can continue what they're doing and get a little job security.

    D
     
  15. Maclicious macrumors regular

    Maclicious

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    #15
    My point is that it is fish or cut bait. If none of these candidates pan out, then the publicity will tell the world that it would be foolish to provide additional 'scope time/funding without a completely new take on the experiment.

    If one candidate does pan out... well, that's the whole idea, right?

    Any way you dice it, this is the next logical step in the process of attempting to detect a signal.
     

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