SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

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NecronLord
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Re: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

Postby NecronLord » 2016-09-02 07:25am

Title amended: this probably is a drill.
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Re: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

Postby Khaat » 2016-09-02 10:46am

Do we have a source with what "terrestrial source" it most likely was? Are we looking at "the microwave in the lab's kitchenette", or "atmospheric reflection", or "that 'America Loves Crap TV' satellite"? I haven't found anything.

The May 2015 and Wow! signals are analogous in another way, Shostak said: Both seemed to appear and then disappear quite quickly. This doesn't seem consistent with a signal from an orbiting satellite, which would be in range of the radio telescope for longer stretches, he said.

"The thought is: Well, that wouldn't be a satellite. A satellite would be on, and maybe it'd be on for a minute or something like that. It wouldn't just go up and down right away," Shostak said.

*snip*
In hopes of learning more about this possible extraterrestrial signal, astronomers from the SETI Institute focused the Allen Telescope Array in California at HD 164595 Sunday night (Aug. 28) and Monday night (Aug. 29), Shostak said.

from http://www.space.com/33904-seti-mystery-signal-wow-alien-message-debate.html

(How long until the conspiracy theory crowd comes out on this as some kind of cover-up of the Draconian invasion fleet or whatever?)
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Re: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

Postby Khaat » 2016-09-16 11:41am

http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/a-seti-signal
First, is the detected signal really coming from the direction of HD 164595? The RATAN-600 is of an unusual design (a ring on the ground of diameter 577 meters), and has an unusual “beam shape” (the patch of sky to which it is sensitive). At the wavelength of the reported signal, 2.7 cm – which is equivalent to a frequency of 11 GHz – the beam is about 20 arcsec by 2 arcmin. In other words, it’s a patch that’s highly elongated in the north-south direction.

This could explain why it didn't have the characteristics of a satellite signal (long exposure time.) Crossing east-west over a narrower window?
...
Second is the question of the characteristics of the signal itself. The observations were made with a receiver having a bandwidth of 1 GHz. That’s a billion times wider than the bandwidths traditionally used for SETI, and is 200 times wider than a television signal. The strength of the signal was 0.75 Janskys, or in common parlance, “weak.” But was it weak only because of the distance of HD 164595? Perhaps it was weak because of “dilution” of the signal by the very wide bandwidth of the Russian receiver?
...
Consequently, the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) was swung in the direction of HD 164595 beginning on the evening of August 28. According to our scientists Jon Richards and Gerry Harp, it has so far not found any signal anywhere in the very large patch of sky covered by the ATA.

However, we have not yet covered the full range of frequencies in which the signal could be located, if it’s of far narrower bandwidth than the Russian 1 GHz receiver. We intend to completely cover this big swath of the radio dial in the next day or two. A detection, of course, would immediately spur the SETI and radio astronomy communities to do more follow-up observations.

Otherwise, "Russian military satellite".
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Re: Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

Postby jwl » 2016-10-17 02:31am

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
Captain Seafort wrote:
Napoleon the Clown wrote:Also ask yourself: Why would an alien civilization blast out a radio signal of such power? They'd have little reason to expend the sort of energy it would take for an omnidirectional burst that could be detected this far away, and they'd have no real reason to send a directed message toward Earth.


What not? We've done much the same sort of thing repeatedly. While I agree that Korpela pretty conclusively shoots down the idea that this is likely to be such a message (probably trying to piggy-back off the news of Proxima b), I don't see any issue with the concept of such a transmission in principle.

That's the first thought to cross my mind when I noticed this, but I felt it prudent to mention it and let others make up their own minds as to its legitimacy.

There was this announcement a year ago:
Stephen Hawking has long made his concerns about the search for extraterrestrial life clear. But after his appearance with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner on Monday to announce Breakthrough Listen, the new $100 million initiative looking for signs of intelligent life, the famous physicist seems to have at least partially reconsidered.

Hawking never opposed looking for extraterrestrial life, he's just opposed to contacting them.

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Re: Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

Postby EnterpriseSovereign » 2016-10-17 05:32pm

jwl wrote:
EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
Captain Seafort wrote:
What not? We've done much the same sort of thing repeatedly. While I agree that Korpela pretty conclusively shoots down the idea that this is likely to be such a message (probably trying to piggy-back off the news of Proxima b), I don't see any issue with the concept of such a transmission in principle.

That's the first thought to cross my mind when I noticed this, but I felt it prudent to mention it and let others make up their own minds as to its legitimacy.

There was this announcement a year ago:
Stephen Hawking has long made his concerns about the search for extraterrestrial life clear. But after his appearance with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner on Monday to announce Breakthrough Listen, the new $100 million initiative looking for signs of intelligent life, the famous physicist seems to have at least partially reconsidered.

Hawking never opposed looking for extraterrestrial life, he's just opposed to contacting them.

Well depending on precisely how aliens are discovered, the line between the two isn't always clear.
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Re: Not a Drill: SETI Is Investigating a Possible Extraterrestrial Signal From Deep Space

Postby SpottedKitty » 2016-10-17 09:08pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
jwl wrote:Hawking never opposed looking for extraterrestrial life, he's just opposed to contacting them.

Well depending on precisely how aliens are discovered, the line between the two isn't always clear.

A good point; detecting something more unambiguous than the Wow! signal is one thing, detecting a decelerating engine flare coming through the Oort Cloud is... something slightly different.
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