Aliens?

Interesting article in The New Scientist regarding some signals from the SETI project. Their website is being hit with a lot of traffic so I copied the entire text to the "Continue Reading - Aliens?" link below. This would be really cool. Of course, it's a scam by Bush and all the other NeoCons to steal the election again. No war for oiiiiilllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In February 2003, astronomers involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) pointed the massive radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, at around 200 sections of the sky. The same telescope had previously detected unexplained radio signals at least twice from each of these regions, and the astronomers were trying to reconfirm the findings. The team has now finished analysing the data, and all the signals seem to have disappeared. Except one, which has got stronger. This radio signal, now seen on three separate occasions, is an enigma. It could be generated by a previously unknown astronomical phenomenon. Or it could be something much more mundane, maybe an artefact of the telescope itself. But it also happens to be the best candidate yet for a contact by intelligent aliens in the nearly six-year history of the SETI@home project, which uses programs running as screensavers on millions of personal computers worldwide to sift through signals picked up by the Arecibo telescope. Absorb and emit �It�s the most interesting signal from SETI@home,� says Dan Werthimer, a radio astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and the chief scientist for SETI@home. �We�re not jumping up and down, but we are continuing to observe it.� Named SHGb02+14a, the signal has a frequency of about 1420 megahertz. This happens to be one of the main frequencies at which hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, readily absorbs and emits energy. Some astronomers have argued that extraterrestrials trying to advertise their presence would be likely to transmit at this frequency, and SETI researchers conventionally scan this part of the radio spectrum. SHGb02+14a seems to be coming from a point between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there is no obvious star or planetary system within 1000 light years. And the transmission is very weak. �We are looking for something that screams out �artificial�,� says UCB researcher Eric Korpela, who completed the analysis of the signal in April. �This just doesn�t do that, but it could be because it is distant.� Unknown signature The telescope has only observed the signal for about a minute in total, which is not long enough for astronomers to analyse it thoroughly. But, Korpela thinks it unlikely SHGb02+14a is the result of any obvious radio interference or noise, and it does not bear the signature of any known astronomical object. That does not mean that only aliens could have produced it. �It may be a natural phenomenon of a previously undreamed-of kind like I stumbled over,� says Jocelyn Bell Burnell of the University of Bath, UK. It was Bell Burnell who in 1967 noticed a pulsed radio signal which the research team at the time thought was from extraterrestrials but which turned out to be the first ever sighting of a pulsar. There are other oddities. For instance, the signal�s frequency is drifting by between eight to 37 hertz per second. �The signal is moving rapidly in frequency and you would expect that to happen if you are looking at a transmitter on a planet that�s rotating very rapidly and where the civilisation is not correcting the transmission for the motion of the planet,� Korpela says. This does not, however, convince Paul Horowitz, a Harvard University astronomer who looks for alien signals using optical telescopes. He points out that the SETI@home software corrects for any drift in frequency. Fishy and puzzling The fact that the signal continues to drift after this correction is �fishy�, he says. �If [the aliens] are so smart, they�ll adjust their signal for their planet�s motion.� The relatively rapid drift of the signal is also puzzling for other reasons. A planet would have to be rotating nearly 40 times faster than Earth to have produced the observed drift; a transmitter on Earth would produce a signal with a drift of about 1.5 hertz per second. What is more, if telescopes are observing a signal that is drifting in frequency, then each time they look for it they should most likely encounter it at a slightly different frequency. But in the case of SHGb02+14a, every observation has first been made at 1420 megahertz, before it starts drifting. �It just boggles my mind,� Korpela says. The signal could be an artefact that, for some reason, always appears to be coming from the same point in the sky. The Arecibo telescope has a fixed dish reflector and scans the skies by changing the position of its receiver relative to the dish. When the receiver reaches a certain position, it might just be able to reflect waves from the ground onto the dish and then back to itself, making it seem as if the signal was coming from space. �Perhaps there is an object on the ground near the telescope emitting at about this frequency,� Korpela says. This could be confirmed by using a different telescope to listen for SHGb02+14a. Possible fraud There is also the possibility of fraud by someone hacking the SETI@home software to make it return evidence for an extraterrestrial transmission. However, SHGb02+14a was seen on two different occasions by different SETI@home users, and those calculations were confirmed by others. Then the signal was seen a third time by the SETI@home researchers. The unusual characteristics of the signal also make it unlikely that someone is playing a prank, Korpela says. �As I can�t think of any way to make a signal like this, I can�t think of any way to fake it.� David Anderson, director of SETI@home, remains sceptical but curious about the signal. �It�s unlikely to be real but we will definitely be re-observing it.� Bell Burnell agrees that it is worth persisting with. �If they can see it four, five or six times it really begins to get exciting,� she says. It is already exciting for IT engineers Oliver Voelker of Logpoint in Nuremberg, Germany and Nate Collins of Farin and Associates in Madison, Wisconsin, who found the signal. Collins wonders how his bosses will react to company computers finding aliens. �I might have to explain a little further about just how much I was using [the computers],� he says.

August 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Environment and Climate
AccuWeather
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
ICECAP
Jennifer Marohasy
MetaEfficient
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?


Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Medgadget
New Scientist
Next Big Future
PhysOrg.com
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog


Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
FAIL Blog
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Neatorama
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF
TYWKIWDBI


Comics
Achewood
The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Dilbert
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
Tundra
User Friendly
Vexarr
What The Duck
Wondermark
xkcd


NO WAI! WTF?¿?¿
Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?


Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog


Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
DIYPhotography
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
PetaPixel
photo.net
Shorpy
Strobist
The Online Photographer


Blogrolling
A Western Heart
AMCGLTD.COM
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cobb
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Instapundit
iowahawk
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Neanderpundit
neo-neocon
Power Line
ProfessorBainbridge.com
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Samizdata.net
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Velociworld
Weasel Zippers
WILLisms.com
Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
BigPictureSmallOffice
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
MegaPundit
Masamune
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Publicola
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on September 1, 2004 10:29 PM.

R. N. Convention was the previous entry in this blog.

Fireworks Technology is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9