So where's the science..?


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Gal Starfinder EVE player (phioniex lords)
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Message 554811 - Posted: 27 Apr 2007, 14:11:53 UTC - in response to Message 554313.

So they've found a class M planet around Gliese 581. Let's look at it a little closer.

1. It is about 14 times closer to its parent star than the Earth-Sun distance

2. It's year is 13 days long...

3. Has estimated temperatures between 0°C and 40°C so has the potential for liquid water on the surface.

4. Orbits a red dwarf.

Realistic chances for intelligent life are slim at best.

1. Being that close will cause massive tidal forces, both on the structure of the planet and on any liquid water on the planet.
- The massive tidal forces on the structure of the planet will result in a large number of volcanos and / or the planet being rotationally locked, that is there would be no day and night only a day side and a night side. Both these points would make it hard for intelligent life to evolve.
- If the planet is rotationally locked then it will not have a strong "earth" like magnetic field.

2. Any weather patterns will be ferocious due to the speed of the planets rotation around it's sun.

3. Being so close to any star will mean any solar activity will rain down on the planets surface due to potential not to have a magnetic field since it may be rotationally locked.

These small points alone point to an extremely slim chance of intelligent life having the ability to evolve.

Just my 2c worth.

Live long and BOINC.


From looking at our planet, life has adapted to every enviroment this planet has thrown at it, so if that rule apply's to all life in the galaxy, then it shouldn't matter what enviromental effect's take place, any planet with life given water WILL produce life. for all we know life on the planet around 581 could consist of armadillo like creature with protective hide's to combat the enviroment, or even live underground, but to dismiss the idea of intelligent radio using lifeform's living on the planet is a very quick way to limit the chance of picking up telltale radio signal's from other system's.

(life will alway's find a way) 'jurrasic park'

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Message 555732 - Posted: 29 Apr 2007, 4:31:46 UTC - in response to Message 554811.

Wow I like This Blog Forum, Might actually help add interest and knowledge for and about the project.

Well perserverance and paitence seems to be the motto for SETI@Home.
currently 500,000 registered users currently inactive or uninterested.
I'm not sure how many were active throughout Classic but It had over 5,000,000 registered at the end (there were duplicate identities and such amoungst them).

I didn't know we were pushing the technology so much in those early years. Well we're feeding the advance of science by doing this that science will once again spike the publics interest and participation, which will ebb (unless they can recieve some tangable results) and we will be continuing to feed the science

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Message 557476 - Posted: 1 May 2007, 15:44:34 UTC - in response to Message 555732.

Wow I like This Blog Forum, Might actually help add interest and knowledge for and about the project.

Well perserverance and paitence seems to be the motto for SETI@Home.
currently 500,000 registered users currently inactive or uninterested.
I'm not sure how many were active throughout Classic but It had over 5,000,000 registered at the end (there were duplicate identities and such amoungst them).

I didn't know we were pushing the technology so much in those early years. Well we're feeding the advance of science by doing this that science will once again spike the publics interest and participation, which will ebb (unless they can recieve some tangable results) and we will be continuing to feed the science


because of seti's lack of results has cause intrest in the project to disapate over the years, i belive it needs to rethink it approch to the way it searches.

With the current space science focused on 'planet finding' seti needs to adapt, maybe by following in the wake of the 'plant finders' and consentrating on the systems found with planets and sending those results to seti@home for checking as high proitiy, and lowering old data on the data chain. because we now have a viable way of detecting planet's around other stars the focus should be on them.

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Message 557881 - Posted: 2 May 2007, 3:44:14 UTC - in response to Message 557476.

because of seti's lack of results has cause intrest in the project to disapate over the years, i belive it needs to rethink it approch to the way it searches.

With the current space science focused on 'planet finding' seti needs to adapt, maybe by following in the wake of the 'plant finders' and consentrating on the systems found with planets and sending those results to seti@home for checking as high proitiy, and lowering old data on the data chain. because we now have a viable way of detecting planet's around other stars the focus should be on them.

AIUI directed searches are pretty well out of the question because of the project’s lack of funding: all the Arecibo data used by S@h are obtained by eavesdropping on other astronomers’ research projects, so to speak. I don’t know what it costs, or what kind of official or prestigious support is required, to obtain observing time with full control of a world-class radiotelescope, but I’m sure it doesn’t come cheap or easily.

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Message 557892 - Posted: 2 May 2007, 4:15:27 UTC

Maybe they should point the radio reciever at the new planet that was discoverd recently.

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Message 557894 - Posted: 2 May 2007, 4:21:09 UTC - in response to Message 557892.

Maybe they should point the radio reciever at the new planet that was discoverd recently.

Not possible, Aricibo dish is fixed, with only slight adjustment available to the instrument platform. I covers approx 8 to 30 degrees north. The new planet discovered was way south.

Andy

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Message 558079 - Posted: 2 May 2007, 16:31:59 UTC - in response to Message 557894.

Maybe they should point the radio reciever at the new planet that was discoverd recently.

Not possible, Aricibo dish is fixed, with only slight adjustment available to the instrument platform. I covers approx 8 to 30 degrees north. The new planet discovered was way south.

Andy


was it an optical telescope or radio telescope which was used to find Gliese 581c?,

could the seti group ask for any radio data from the group which found Gliese 581c and process it for 'lifesigns'?

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Message 567307 - Posted: 14 May 2007, 18:11:18 UTC - in response to Message 553905.
Last modified: 14 May 2007, 18:21:09 UTC

...allowing outside resources to help


Not the kind of resource you had in mind, I know, but in relation to a necessary precursor to any resource, donations (or lack thereof), frequently noted here as an impediment to said resources, I have one question: where is Google? They can contemplate scanning every book in every library, they have every square kilometre of this planet viewable online and - gosh - they must scan this very blog, along with billions of other websites, every -how many days? So searching a few million stars should be small change surely and within its mission "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Just change "world" to "universe".

Sorry if it is a case of 'been there, done that'
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Message 568095 - Posted: 15 May 2007, 21:19:14 UTC - in response to Message 558079.


could the seti group ask for any radio data from the group which found Gliese 581c and process it for 'lifesigns'?


It was optical data. Spectra of Gliese 581 were analyzed to look for Doppler shifts due to the gravitational effects of the planet.
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Message 569561 - Posted: 17 May 2007, 15:46:47 UTC
Last modified: 17 May 2007, 15:48:54 UTC

Actually Seti research has been going on for just a few years. And just for a small piece of the sky. And with infinitely small funding compared with the life sciences and other sciences that produces "things".

But I will try to answer your question about why we should do it.
1. Shouldn't we who are humans be curious about what is around us?
2. If ET do exist, would it not be fun to know that ET does?
3. If ET is anything like us ET would probably send a bomb down our throat, I would like to at least have a small warning.
4. ET might be nice and want to help us.
5. Any reason you feel like inserting.

Carl

/Edit... I forgot, we have also just searched a fraction of the wavelengths. We have for instance never looked at radio/tv frequensies. Or other more obscure frequensies. Let's say into the Feynman-radio concept.
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Message 597788 - Posted: 3 Jul 2007, 9:24:39 UTC

Good thread folks. I'm new to the project, but I leave BOINC on all the time, my PC runs 24/hr a day 7/days a week. It's linux based so it is quite stable and seems to be running BOINC quite well. Thanks for explaining here what the project is, where it's going, and what the plan is! Great stuff and keep up the good fight!

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Message 598027 - Posted: 3 Jul 2007, 23:10:20 UTC - in response to Message 569561.

snip....

But I will try to answer your question about why we should do it.
1. Shouldn't we who are humans be curious about what is around us?
2. If ET do exist, would it not be fun to know that ET does?
3. If ET is anything like us ET would probably send a bomb down our throat, I would like to at least have a small warning.
4. ET might be nice and want to help us.
5. Any reason you feel like inserting.

Carl
snip.....


6. ET could also be thinking....I wonder how they taste?


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Message 598851 - Posted: 5 Jul 2007, 2:02:10 UTC

Kinda like pork. (Just in case they are listening...)
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Message 610787 - Posted: 28 Jul 2007, 22:56:48 UTC

I believe with all this data one could begin a technique such as "clustering". Once you have identified the valid data samples and formed specific clusters I believe the next step could be to look at time and sequence of the data within those clusters and search for identifiable wave patterns. By projecting these patterned clusters into the future, you can begin something called "next occurrence prediction. If the prediction proves to be valid within a cluster, then you can examine the resulting cluster in more depth looking for harmonics within the entire spectrum of the cluster.......just an idea.

Dr. RCH

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Message 615367 - Posted: 5 Aug 2007, 18:16:58 UTC - in response to Message 508104.

I'll finish up by stating that the actual science, while moving at glacial speeds, is not going stale. Remember these signals are potentially coming from light years away - so a few years' delay isn't going to hurt the science. It will hurt user interest, though, which is always a concern and a source of frustration for us - that's a topic for a later time.

- Matt

I thought this topic might provide insight into the SETI mission statement. I hoped to gain a better understanding of the projects immediate objectives, its timescale and a summary of current results. I am a little disappointed that the focus seems to be elsewhere - on the difficulty of the science, the shortage of equipment and manpower, and above all, the need for more funding.

Such concerns are legitimate, of course. Without adequate resources a project of this magnitude cannot succeed. On the other hand, if the goal is to attract greater participation and contributions, more attention might be paid to stirring public interest. In the early days of SETI there seemed to be greater expectation of achieving tangible results. Now people seem resigned to perfecting the methodology and awaiting the development of theory and technological advances. That's all very reasonable sounding, but it fails to capture the imagination of supporters who look for tangible results in a reasonable timeframe. Perhaps it's time to address that "topic for a later time" in order to prevent further erosion of interest.

I'm happy to continue providing my modest supply of excess CPU cycles into the indefinite future, even if nothing ever develops. But I'd need to see more definite plans for achieving short term objectives before considering monetary support. I'd want to know that funding would be applied to more than an academic study to further the training and experience in research that might find some future application. I've seen too many independent projects falter and die when investigators lose their initial enthusiasm or reprioritize efforts because of changing priorities and new interests. This isn't meant as a challenge. I just wanted to share my opinion.

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Message 615382 - Posted: 5 Aug 2007, 19:00:31 UTC - in response to Message 615367.

... I've seen too many independent projects falter and die when investigators lose their initial enthusiasm or reprioritize efforts because of changing priorities and new interests. ...

Well... Considering the people and the long history and the volunteer support for this project, I'm very sure there's more than enough enthusiasm to keep this going for a long time yet.

There's also easily enough enthusiasm to keep the donations and funding rolling as needed. Even so, there's no room for complacency.

To get the science moving sooner rather than later, rather than all this bottom-of-the-barrel scraping some proper science funding would be very welcome!


Keep searchin',
Martin

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Message 615579 - Posted: 6 Aug 2007, 5:27:05 UTC

Evening Everyone

It has been a long weekend, Seti and Seti Beta are still running... Matt Stated in his Blog that Near Time Persistency Checking (nitpkr) is back in the works... That tells that all work units that have been crunched will get checked... MutliBema Tells even more as we can get it here...

So as Nitpkr gets here the you have more information about the Science that you have helped to produce!

In the not far to distance past, Seti was in danger or closing down! Thanks to the respone of many individuals, "We" are still here!


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Message 639495 - Posted: 12 Sep 2007, 15:29:31 UTC - in response to Message 508104.

As time goes on more SETI@home pariticipants are frustrated with the perceived lack of scientific progress. So what's the deal?

Remember these signals are potentially coming from light years away - so a few years' delay isn't going to hurt the science. It will hurt user interest, though, which is always a concern and a source of frustration for us

- Matt

In our "Right Now" society, we have become accustomed to getting answers before the question. I'm sorry, this ain't "Star Trek", you don't have "Spock" or the Universal Translator, and there IS a lot of empty out there. If we don't look, we'll never see.

It may be hundreds of years before we actually intercept a true communications signal and we might miss something as simple as " .... .. " (look it up in a Morse Code handbook).

I'm just a dumb old trucker, but I've seen a lot of stuff. I saw a cloud bank one time that I thought was a mountain. It took some time for me to figure out what it was. The same thing applies here, it's GONNA take some time.
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Message 639576 - Posted: 12 Sep 2007, 18:51:08 UTC - in response to Message 639495.

... it's GONNA take some time.



Very well stated, Lee.
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Message 646702 - Posted: 22 Sep 2007, 20:10:28 UTC - in response to Message 508104.

As time goes on more SETI@home pariticipants are frustrated with the perceived lack of scientific progress. So what's the deal?

Keep in mind the essence of the science is actually really simple. We get lots of data. The function of the SETI@home clients is to reduce this data. They convert a sizeable chunk of frequency/time data into a few signals. These signals alone aren't all that interesting. It is only when similar signals (similar in frequency, shape, and sky position) are found over observations that happen at different times. The process of "matching" these similar signals is the crux of the problem SETI attempts to solve.

During the first five years of SETI@home (the "Classic" years) we never really had a useable science database. Signals were gushing into our servers which, at the time, could barely handle the load of simply inputting them into the database, much less validating the actual science before doing so. Technology improved and we have somewhat better servers (and the more streamlined BOINC server backend) so that we can validate the science and input incoming signals in "real time" (i.e. as fast as they come in). Nevertheless, the result is we still have an unwieldy science database with almost a billion signals in it, and we're adding two million more every day.

But we had to get to this point where we are today, which meant creating the first "master science" database of validated signals from Classic via a long and painful process of "redundancy checking." Then we had to merging the Classic and BOINC science databases into one. We then had to migrate the data onto a bigger, better server. We still have yet to do the big "database correction" where we clean up the data for final analysis. Each of these projects took (or will take) at least several calendar months. Why? Well, there are lots of important sub-projects and "getting your ducks in a row." Plus a lot of care and planning goes into moving this data around which vastly slows down progress - for example, each big step along the way requires backing up all the data, which takes an uninterrupted calendar day or two. We don't want to be too cavalier with our master science database, you know? Plus we don't do anything too crazy towards the end of the week so we don't have to deal with chaos over the weekend. So often we're waiting until Monday or Tuesday to do the next small step.

Now factor in the lack-of-manpower issue. I disappear for months at a time to go play rock star (SETI@home is my day job - in return for being overworked/underpaid while I'm here, I get incredible flexibility to do whatever I want whenever I want). Jeff goes backpacking in the Sierras. Eric has a zillion other projects demanding his time, as does Dan. Frequenty somebody is sick or dealing with personal issues and out of the office. When we're a "man down" every "big" project comes to a standstill, as we barely have enough people to maintain the day-to-day projects. And when an unpredictable server crisis hits the fan all bets are off.

Nevertheless, we did manage to squeeze out one set of candidates back in 2003 for reobservation. Basically, we were given a window of opportunity to observe at Arecibo positions of our choosing, and so we all dropped everything and threw all our effort into scouring our database for anything interesting to check out. The database was much smaller then. We also still had some funds from the glorious dot.com donation era, so our staff was a bit larger (we had scientific programmer Steve Fulton and web programmer Eric Person working full time, as well as various extra students). While the science behind this candidate run was sound, we didn't have much time to "do things right" so the code generated to scour our database and select candidates was basically a one-shot deal. The code did the job then, but is basically useless now - something we were well aware of at the time but due to time constraints couldn't do anything about it.

So where are we now and what's next? Only relatively recently do we have our science database on a server up to the task of doing something other than inserting more signals. As mentioned above we need to do a big "database correction" - I'm sure more will be written up about this in due time. Then we need to develop the candidate hunter, a.k.a "persistency checker" which runs in real time. This latter project recently got an advance kick in the butt thanks to a new part-time programmer (Daniel) working on skymaps for our website - this shares a lot of the code with the persistency checker. As well we have the new multibeam receiver on line and collecting lots of data. Tens of terabytes so far, in fact, which will hopefully be distributed to y'all in the coming weeks/months.

I'll finish up by stating that the actual science, while moving at glacial speeds, is not going stale. Remember these signals are potentially coming from light years away - so a few years' delay isn't going to hurt the science. It will hurt user interest, though, which is always a concern and a source of frustration for us - that's a topic for a later time.

- Matt

Very interesting post. I used to work in the UK NationalHealth Service, and do understand about lack of funding and slender staffing. I'm now retired after a stroke, but wish I could volunteer to help you out over there.
Keep up the good work. I've just made a [small] donation and will continue to work units for you as befpre.

Take care, all.
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