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Message boards : SETI@home Science : Extraterrestrial Signal and Screensaver...

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patronangel
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Message 996500 - Posted: 15 May 2010, 19:09:09 UTC

Assume that my computer finds an extraterrestrial signal.
How am I going to know it?
How is it going to look like at Seti@home screensaver Enchanced version 6.03?

Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 996588 - Posted: 17 May 2010, 3:36:18 UTC
Last modified: 17 May 2010, 3:37:37 UTC

If your computer detects aliens, you won't know. At least not for a few months after.

Your computer searches for spikes and stuff in the work units. If it finds them, its sends the work unit back to Berkeley and these results are compared to other peoples results. If hundreds of peoples work units show the same thing in the results, then a real person, a SETI@home scientist will manually look at the data to check it. Most stuff they find is just radio interference from transmitters on earth or satellites.

If they do find aliens, they can identify the peoples computers that worked on the problem and found the signal. They will email you if it happens. You will be very famous!

John.
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Message 996926 - Posted: 18 May 2010, 11:14:40 UTC

Well almost everyday my computer find pulses. Iam sure that this happens to your screensaver also.
Is FTT graph at the bottom going to show anything unusual If it is an extraterrestrial signal?

The FTT graph looks like grass! But I have still not understand what represents or what it shows

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Message 996991 - Posted: 18 May 2010, 23:00:57 UTC - in response to Message 996926.
Last modified: 18 May 2010, 23:04:58 UTC

The screen saver does show real information that your computer is processing, its radio signals recorded from space. But so does your kitchen radio if its not tuned to a particular radio station. Your TV also does this, it can display a fuzzy screen if your not tuned to a channel. None of this means anything, 99.99999999% of it is naturally produced radio frequency noise. Or stuff that people are transmitting locally, like your local radio station.

So, yes, your seeing lots of spikes and signals on your screen, they are real radio noise. The SETI@home program is searching through this noise looking for particular "patterns" that the scientists think might be interesting. The biggest spikes and stuff you will see in the screen saver will be caused by military or navy ships, or aircraft that are transmitting near the island of Puerto Rico, near the Arecibo telescope. Your screen saver will NOT tell you if it detects what it is looking for. Only when hundreds of people have detected the same signal will the scientists know its worth taking a closer look.

John.
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Message 999949 - Posted: 2 Jun 2010, 13:32:53 UTC - in response to Message 996991.

Does anyone know what these green and red bars that looks like grass at the bottom of the scrrensaver represents?

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Message 1000138 - Posted: 2 Jun 2010, 21:42:18 UTC
Last modified: 2 Jun 2010, 21:43:41 UTC

The screen saver has labels on the graph.

The 3 dimensions of the box in the screen saver are;
X = Frequency (Hz)
Y = Power
z = Time

So big spikes are more powerful signals.

John.

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