By PhysicsGenius (Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 12:55:52 AM EST) (all tags)

For centuries Man has looked up at the sky and wondered if aliens were trying to contact us via radio. But it wasn't until the 1960s when a man named Frank Drake had the courage to take a leap of faith and perform a calculation that would prove aliens must exist.

"The team has now finished analysing the data, and all the signals seem to have disappeared. Except one, which has got stronger.

Based on that proof, he got funding to built a program that would search for alien signals from space. It took many person-years of effort, but eventually the project go underway. Dozens of signals have been found over the years, but until now all have been rejected as either artifacts of the equipment, naturally occuring astronomical bodies or politically unpopular.

"...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."

SETI later lost its funding but has remained close to the hearts and minds of the world's geek population. That explains why when they launched their SETI@Home project, their signal processing capability nearly doubled.

Even hardened scientists who work every day trying to find aliens haven't weren't really prepared to find something like this. What kind of reaction will the world have when something of this magnitude is told to them?

"'It just boggles my mind,' Korpela says."

But despite extreme excitement the scientists are performing calculations that give us information on what the alien home world must be like.

"A planet would have to be rotating nearly 40 times faster than Earth to have produced the observed drift..."

When the signal is decoded, perhaps we can find out more about, for instance, the alien culture, philosophy, and science.

Skeptical observers were quick to mention the possibility of fraud, because of the insecure way SETI@Home has "opened" their source code to potential hackers, but

"The unusual characteristics of the signal also make it unlikely that someone is playing a prank, Korpela says. '...I can't think of any way to fake it.'"

There is no doubt that aliens have contacted us. They are here. Are we ready?

I for one by hulver (5.80 / 5) #1 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:03:03 AM EST
Welcome our new Alien masters.

On the other hand, I think the radio message is a warning.

"Don't land on this planet, you'll get flung off into space by centrifugal forces"
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

Surely by Breaker (3.00 / 0) #20 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:50:33 AM EST
The faster it's spinning, the greater the gravity?

In which case - it's an intergalactic jail that houses one of the most unspeakable races known in the galaxy!  Run!

[ Parent ]
Spin city by Vulch (3.00 / 0) #24 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:55:01 AM EST

Though at that sort of spin rate it could be a really huge[1] rotating space ship, seeing as they've said there's no obvious stars out that way.

The (good|bad) news in that case is that it's not headed our way to drain the oceans, blow up the white house or drop an asteroid on us. Yet...

[1]About 1200km radius for earth like gravity if I've done the sums right.

[ Parent ]
That's no moon! [nt] by hulver (3.00 / 0) #29 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 02:20:24 AM EST

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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
Get it right. by fritz the cat (6.00 / 2) #2 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:07:06 AM EST
There is no doubt that aliens have contacted us. They are here. Are we ready?
No. They are there. We are here.

And how do you suggest we get ready?

[Ed.: currently a dormant account - posting on behalf of extremely tedious HuSer]

Getting ready by DullTrev (6.00 / 2) #7 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:23:40 AM EST

Oh, you know, tidy the place a bit, get the good china out, things like that.

--
DFJ?
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Just like when my Mum comes to visit. [nt] by fritz the cat (3.00 / 0) #11 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:29:45 AM EST
[nt] = no toroid hyperspace engine

[Ed.: currently a dormant account - posting on behalf of extremely tedious HuSer]
[ Parent ]
When she comes to visit me by Rogerborg (6.00 / 1) #12 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:40:18 AM EST
I get out the whips and handcuffs.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
TMI by DesiredUsername (6.00 / 1) #14 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:42:23 AM EST
nt

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
What does Mrs Borg think of that? by wiredog (3.00 / 0) #16 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:46:26 AM EST
Or is Fritz the Borgling?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Now's a good time 4 all of you to get back to work by fritz the cat (3.00 / 0) #19 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:49:30 AM EST
I think we've scraped the bottom of that barrel

[Ed.: currently a dormant account - posting on behalf of extremely tedious HuSer]
[ Parent ]
Not yet we haven't by wiredog (6.00 / 1) #22 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:53:18 AM EST
Blixco and the Goat haven't chimed in yet.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
And by Breaker (3.00 / 0) #18 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:49:00 AM EST
Make sure you washed behind your ears and cleaned your fingernails.  Wear that lovely jumper Aunt Gladys knitted for you last Christmas, dear.

[ Parent ]
Now is a perfect time to panic. by zantispam (6.00 / 2) #8 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:25:07 AM EST

Yeah, you better run before LiaD stabs you with his shiny metal cock! -- theboz
[ Parent ]
er by martingale (3.00 / 0) #3 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:11:25 AM EST
I apologize for being a bore, but your first sentence is wrong, and my mind is still reeling from Merekat's wordly ministrations.
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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
Keep watching the skies! by R Mutt (3.00 / 0) #4 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:11:31 AM EST
They're not very interesting, but it still beats watching the ground.

yeah yeah by martingale (3.00 / 0) #5 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:13:23 AM EST
It's all fun and games until somebody steps on a snail.
--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
...which... by fritz the cat (6.00 / 1) #6 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:18:33 AM EST
...would be a terrible waste of a snack...

[Ed.: currently a dormant account - posting on behalf of extremely tedious HuSer]
[ Parent ]
'There are SNAILS all over her PLATE' by DesiredUsername (6.00 / 1) #9 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:27:19 AM EST
-Steve Martin in The Jerk

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
Bah. by i (3.00 / 0) #10 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:28:13 AM EST
1420 MHz is probably the most noisy frequency in the entire Universe. No civilisation in its right mind would use it for anything.

Oh great, CRAZY bug eyed monsters by Rogerborg (3.00 / 0) #13 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:41:13 AM EST
The most dangerous animal known to man.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Unless... by DullTrev (6.00 / 4) #15 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:44:48 AM EST

That's what they want us to think.

--
DFJ?
[ Parent ]
There are much more efficient methods by i (3.00 / 0) #25 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:56:02 AM EST
one could use in order to go undetected. Like, don't transmit signals that everyone and their dog can detect at 1000 light years.

[ Parent ]
Oh, sure. by Breaker (3.00 / 0) #17 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:47:50 AM EST
And you think that Earth has dibs on steganography?  I don't think that there's a division of the USPTO set up on Mars yet...

[ Parent ]
Nah. by i (3.00 / 0) #26 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 02:00:35 AM EST
Too risky. The signal is mighty powerful. Someone a bit closer than us could easily differentiate it from the noise. Spread spectrum is much better steganographically.

[ Parent ]
Ah, by ambrosen (3.00 / 0) #37 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 04:45:16 AM EST
That's why I keep getting weird crashes on my 1.4GHz processor.

[ Parent ]
RUN FOR THE HILLS! by wiredog (3.00 / 0) #21 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:52:15 AM EST
Fortify the herbaceous borders! Stock up on canned goods! Store lots of fresh water! Buy lots of ammo for the BFG-3000! Women and Children first and Devil take the hindmost! It's the Bug Eyed Monsters from the Plieades! Come with their favorite book:'To Serve Man'!

Aieeeeee!

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Heheh, nicely done. 'Faith' and 'proof' by Rogerborg (6.00 / 1) #23 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 01:54:37 AM EST
But I think that we all know by now that SETI is little more than a haven for cultists, Abductees and Scientology wannabes.  Anything that can't instantly be explained by pop culture science is inferred to be An Inscrutable Act Of The Invisible Sky Giant Evidence Of Aliens by the social cripples and child molesters who make up 95% of the SETI@home cult.  If you beamed a maser into one of their tin foil dishes and morse coded out 'Teh End Days Are Ni' then half of them would strangle themselves on the spot with their own one button mouses in an ecstasy of nerd joy.

Discuss.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

Sadly IAWTP by Dr H0ffm4n (3.00 / 0) #31 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 03:03:05 AM EST
But it wasn't until the 1960s when a man named Frank Drake had the courage to take a leap of faith and perform a calculation that would prove aliens must exist.

Please. He invented an equation that proved nothing. Nothing, except how much people are willing to chase after phantoms.

[ Parent ]
Psst by Rogerborg (3.00 / 0) #34 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 03:44:37 AM EST
You are familiar with the poster account, right?

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
Psst. Yes. by Dr H0ffm4n (6.00 / 1) #38 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 05:07:12 AM EST
I did say to myself, "Must. Not. Bite."
But then I got distracted.
By work of all things.

[ Parent ]
BTW by DullTrev (6.00 / 1) #27 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 02:05:29 AM EST

You have all seen this?

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DFJ?
Looks like the aliens got to them already (nt) by DesiredUsername (3.00 / 0) #28 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 02:09:59 AM EST

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
[ Parent ]
No, it's the Department of Homeland Insecurity by wiredog (3.00 / 0) #30 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 02:21:52 AM EST
Don't you see it? Aliens are the perfect diversion! While everybody is talking about the BEMs from Arcturus, the DHS will have a free hand to operate its black helicopters, echelon spybots, and supersecret spy satellites to find out everything about everyone! Then, after eliminating the K5 and HuSi Cabals they can move on to Phase 2 of their Secret Plan for World Domination!

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Hertz per second. by Evil Cloaked User (3.00 / 0) #32 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 03:23:58 AM EST
Sigh.

Frequency variation? by Dr H0ffm4n (3.00 / 0) #33 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 03:40:42 AM EST

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I bet you're the type by Evil Cloaked User (3.00 / 0) #35 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 04:33:20 AM EST
That believes in Radians? Fucking metres per metre. Who the fuck thought that was a good idea? Likewise, Hz = s-1 so Hz/s = s-2. Far more sensible.

[ Parent ]
He's right. by ambrosen (3.00 / 0) #36 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 04:41:22 AM EST
Paraphrased: Every second, the signal changes by 8 to 37 Hz

[ Parent ]
I believe all sorts of wacky stuff by Dr H0ffm4n (3.00 / 0) #39 Thu Sep 02, 2004 at 05:09:06 AM EST
Blame my upbringing.

[ Parent ]