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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!

    We are not alone!!

    SETI has discovered a really, really strong signal coming from the vicinity of a star that is a lot, lot, lot like our star. Remember this day, people... it is the day we discovered alien life.

    Maybe... either that or it is yet another "Close but we just are not sure" moment like that giant alien object that was blocking out a star recently.

    Anyway, here is more on the signal from space. If it is what we think it is, the aliens are a lot, lot, lot more advanced than we are.

    The signal’s strength indicates that if it in fact came from a isotropic beacon, the power source would have to be built by a Kardashev Type II civilization. (The Kardashev scale is used to determine the progress of a civilization’s technological development by measuring how much energy was used to transmit an interstellar message.) An ‘Isotropic’ beacon means a communication source emitting a signal with equal power in all directions while promoting signal strength throughout travel.

    In his acclaimed work “Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations,” Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev explained that a Type II civilization would be able to harness the energy of their entire host star. The most common hypothetical example of this would be a Dyson Sphere—which is a massive artificial structure that could completely encapsulate a star and transfer the energy to a nearby planet.

    Basically, if the signal was beamed out into the galaxy without aim or direction, that would require an enormous amount of power to actually be detected. But what if the signal was beamed specifically at our solar system? Well, that would require less energy and could indicate the presence of a Kardashev Type I civilization—meaning that it could be a highly technological, contemporary society that harnesses the solar energy emitted by its local star, much like our planet does with solar panels.
    -Jason "the universe is really, really big... there just has to be other life out there, IMO" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I'm excited about this one, even if the rational side of me says that it is extremely unlikely.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gus View Post
    I'm excited about this one, even if the rational side of me says that it is extremely unlikely.
    And interestingly, the rational side of me says that intelligent life other than our own is extremely likely...

    Thanks for the link! Surprised it isn't being picked up by major media yet. Very intriguing.

  4. #4
    Will I be better able to detect their signal with my tin foil hat or should I switch to aluminum?

    All kidding aside, this brings new meaning to the Presidential race.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    And interestingly, the rational side of me says that intelligent life other than our own is extremely likely...
    The universe is too large and has existed too long for me to believe we're completely alone.

    I just think finding evidence that we're not alone is unlikely, but more specifically, that this particular signal is unlikely to be that evidence.

  6. #6
    alteran is offline All-American, Honorable Mention
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham-- 2 miles from Cameron, baby!
    According to Jason's article, the source is 95 light years away.

    That's absurdly close. The Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across.

    Discovering life 95 light years away would be like discovering gold in your backyard.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by alteran View Post
    According to Jason's article, the source is 95 light years away.

    That's absurdly close. The Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across.

    Discovering life 95 light years away would be like discovering gold in your backyard.
    You're right, but we can do better than 95 light years. The closest star to our sun was just discovered this week to have a terrestrial planet at the right distance for liquid water! That's 4 light years away (and what I thought this thread would actually be about from the title). There's still a lot to be done to see if it is truly habitable - whether it has an atmosphere or is tidally locked to its star, for example - but I consider it one of the milestone space discoveries of our lifetime. Humanity will almost certainly visit in the coming centuries.

  8. #8
    SETI seems unimpressed. http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/index.php

    I'm sure that many of you have seen the news reports of a "SETI signal" detected from the star HD 164595

    I was one of the many people who received the the email with the subject "Candidate SETI SIGNAL DETECTED by Russians from star HD 164595 by virtue of RATAN-600 radio telescope." Since the email did come from known SETI researchers, I looked over the presentation. I was unimpressed. In one out of 39 scans that passed over star showed a signal at about 4.5 times the mean noise power with a profile somewhat like the beam profile. Of course SETI@home has seen millions of potential signals with similar characteristics, but it takes more than that to make a good candidate. Multiple detections are a minimum criterion.

    Because the receivers used were making broad band measurements, there's really nothing about this "signal" that would distinguish it from a natural radio transient (stellar flare, active galactic nucleus, microlensing of a background source, etc.) There's also nothing that could distinguish it from a satellite passing through the telescope field of view. All in all, it's relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint.

    But, of course, it's been announced to the media. Reporters won't have the background to know it's not interesting. Because the media has it, and since this business runs on media, everyone will look at it. ATA is looking at it. I assume Breakthrough will look at it. Someone will look at it with Arecibo, and we'll be along for the ride. And I'll check the SETI@home database around that position. And we'll all find nothing. It's not our first time at this rodeo, so we know how it works.
    ~rthomas

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    Yeah, but when all the livestock suddenly die in the Devils Tower area of eastern Wyoming . . . .
    “Bob says run! Bob says run! Bob says run!”

    {good pick-up after handoff}

    “Bob was right! Bob was right! Bob was right!”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Yeah, but when all the livestock suddenly die in the Devils Tower area of eastern Wyoming . . . .
    Bah, livestock could die for lots of reasons.

    If you inexplicably begin creating geologic formations out of your mashed potatoes at dinner, then we can talk.
    Coach K on Kyle Singler - "What position does he play? ... He plays winner."

    "Duke is never the underdog" - Quinn Cook

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ironically, the City of Angels
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Yeah, but when all the livestock suddenly die in the Devils Tower area of eastern Wyoming . . . .
    Ha, or crop circles appear in Iowa...

    But seriously, I fall on the extremely likely (in general, not this particular incident) side of the spectrum, but I'd note that in my thoughts, we are not necessarily equipped to recognize another intelligent life form we encounter, since I'd posit that said life is also extremely likely to be substantially different in nature than we.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Yeah, but when all the livestock suddenly die in the Devils Tower area of eastern Wyoming . . . .
    Speaking of which:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/photo/bizarre-lightning-strike-kills-hundreds-reindeer-norway-n639596

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    Not only is that post a buzzkill, it's also written in an incredibly condescending manner. That dude is never invited to one of my parties.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    Not only is that post a buzzkill, it's also written in an incredibly condescending manner. That dude is never invited to one of my parties.
    Harsh. He doesn't know what he is missing.

    But deserved medicine, I'd say.
    “Bob says run! Bob says run! Bob says run!”

    {good pick-up after handoff}

    “Bob was right! Bob was right! Bob was right!”

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!
    Quote Originally Posted by El_Diablo View Post
    I was just going to post something about that. Truly amazing story of the power of nature.

    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Yeah, but when all the livestock suddenly die in the Devils Tower area of eastern Wyoming . . . .
    Pffft...


    Talk to me when all the sheep die in an area bordered by highways 54, 86 and 15-501 about 8-10 miles south of Duke.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Pffft...


    Talk to me when all the sheep die in an area bordered by highways 54, 86 and 15-501 about 8-10 miles south of Duke.
    Is that where they are going to erect Mt. Hatemore?
    “Bob says run! Bob says run! Bob says run!”

    {good pick-up after handoff}

    “Bob was right! Bob was right! Bob was right!”

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Is that where they are going to erect Mt. Hatemore?
    Already erected:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Chapel

    The 4 honorees are on the opposite side of the building. Facing south, of course. With expressions of extreme disdain and loathing on our faces.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Already erected:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Chapel

    The 4 honorees are on the opposite side of the building. Facing south, of course. With expressions of extreme disdain and loathing on our faces.
    Do one of you have "U.S." carved into your belt buckle?
    “Bob says run! Bob says run! Bob says run!”

    {good pick-up after handoff}

    “Bob was right! Bob was right! Bob was right!”

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Do one of you have "U.S." carved into your belt buckle?
    I'll have to survey the honorees.
    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

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