SETI... What do we look for?


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Trista
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Message 1153456 - Posted: 18 Sep 2011, 6:02:58 UTC

Hi~ I am doing this as an extra credit assignment for my college course and I have found it to be just as addicting as facebook. =) How do I find out what if anything I have found? I have been trying to figure this out for the last couple weeks. please if anyone knows can you please help. Thanks
Trista

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Message 1153489 - Posted: 18 Sep 2011, 8:28:32 UTC - in response to Message 1153456.

Specifically what do you mean "I have found"? Are you running the seti@home software? I have been running it for twelve years and as far as I know none of the data my computer has processed has shown any promise of being a signal from an intelligent source. I hope that if one of the batches of data that my computer has analyzed is the "big one" I will receive some sort of acknowledgement. So chances are you have not found the signal that everyone is searching for.
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Message 1153628 - Posted: 18 Sep 2011, 16:18:43 UTC
Last modified: 18 Sep 2011, 16:18:52 UTC

To be honest, I like the information that was displayed with the SETI@home classic software. I forget exactly what was displayed, but it was in my opinion as informative as it could be about the task you analyzed, but the same results were that you still wouldn't know if your computer(s) ever detected anything unless you were told. You still get a bit of information from these tasks with third party programs aka SetiMapView or BoincLogX etc.

SETI@home, to my knowledge has not detected anything yet. Einstein@home has discovered a few pulsars: http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=61049
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Trista
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Message 1153757 - Posted: 19 Sep 2011, 2:21:32 UTC

So all we are doing is using our computers to help try and find something coming from space... but we never know if we found anythign or not. I find this interesting but I think once we run this we should be able to see the information for the projects we helped with. I think that would maybe attract more people and broden the chances of finding something. IDK maybe not... I know I would like to see anything that is found from my computer. Thanks for your feedback.
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Message 1153760 - Posted: 19 Sep 2011, 2:56:00 UTC - in response to Message 1153757.
Last modified: 19 Sep 2011, 2:57:05 UTC

So all we are doing is using our computers to help try and find something coming from space... but we never know if we found anythign or not. I find this interesting but I think once we run this we should be able to see the information for the projects we helped with. I think that would maybe attract more people and broden the chances of finding something. IDK maybe not... I know I would like to see anything that is found from my computer. Thanks for your feedback.
Trista


There was a lot of discussion about this when SETI@home CLassic switched to the BOINC platform. A lot of people felt they lost what was one of the better things about analyzing workunits, the screensaver. I used to watch the screensaver all the time in the Classic version. Not so much anymore unless BoincLogX tells me there might be some interesting data.

I agree that there should be some way of seeing the data that is analyzed. I would like to see what Arecibo picks up even if earth made material. I guess it is more so a lack of funding ad the equipment and ability to produce such a task. I am not sure what the data looks like once it's analyzed or what exactly the guys at SETI@home look for in detecting signals, alien or not.

Also there is the 'Near-Time Persistency Checker' which lists the "Current Best Candidates by Score" on analyzed workunits. This does not mean these signals are ET, but merely they are the best candidates to look at again and look for repeating patterns. This list is technically something Arecibo should look at again in the future and compare the data. The list changes as better candidates arise. There are star charts and etc. Good at math and you can plot rough locations. But as such, it doesn't say what computers crunched that data.

Screensaver info: http://www.boinc-wiki.info/Screen_Saver_&_Graphics_Display_-_SETI@Home
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Message 1153762 - Posted: 19 Sep 2011, 3:09:26 UTC

There is no way for the SETI@home algorithms to prove from any single work unit that a signal came from a distant civilization. The method being used is to select out signals which may not be due to random noise, thereby reducing the huge amount of data which has been recorded to a manageable data set in the science database. Then those signals are compared to others when the telescope was looking at the same point, and if several such comparisons turn up a persistent signal that's considered a candidate. The positions of the best candidates will eventually be reobserved as a final check, and then we may have found something.

The project does keep records so that those who were lucky enough to crunch the work units involved can be congratulated.

Although the science database is far smaller than the full raw recorded data, it isn't any small task to do the reduction to candidates. Also, there's all too much RFI which can easily affect the telescope frequently enough to seem to satisfy the persistence checks. The project has adopted several methods of trying to identify which candidates are due to RFI, and has made steps toward getting volunteers to use human judgement to recognize what is and isn't RFI. Our pattern recognition is far better than what can be done with a computer.

Joe

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Message 1153764 - Posted: 19 Sep 2011, 3:14:57 UTC

This is old, but perhaps still useful: http://seticlassic.ssl.berkeley.edu/about_seti/.

Regards

PK
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Message 1154729 - Posted: 21 Sep 2011, 23:49:30 UTC

Thanks for all the information. Very helpful info. and great to hear others think the same way I do..
Thanks
Trista

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Message 1154872 - Posted: 22 Sep 2011, 12:43:56 UTC

I wonder if is there a small chance to have some recordings from C/2010X1...


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Message 1165624 - Posted: 26 Oct 2011, 22:29:17 UTC

I am looking for some results from SETI on their project.
Surely there must be some findings during all this years.
The findings so far may be not what we want (that is none), but it could be interesting to know a little bit more.

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Message 1165741 - Posted: 27 Oct 2011, 13:24:17 UTC
Last modified: 27 Oct 2011, 13:39:21 UTC

An important aspect is that we are searching a very narrow band of radio frequencies for anything that appears to be "not natural". A set of assumptions and criteria are used for deciding what might be "not natural".

The very small radio band being searched is considered significant due to those frequencies can travel far across space without significant attenuation, and they are between two natural oscillation frequencies for parts of the water molecule. (We believe water is essential for life, and intelligent life would know that and so see a similar significance for those frequencies.)


If you like, we are trying to 'second guess' what an alien civilisation would/might do to make itself noticed.

s@h is one of a number of projects to analyse radio data to try to find anything that stands out from the natural background radio noise. I'm sure others can direct you for the details of what s@h does to search the radio data recorded from Arecibo.

Your small part is to analyse a small chunk of that radio data to list anything that stands out from the background radio noise. that gets listed as 'spikes', 'triplets', and 'gaussians'. A spike is a single pulse waveform, a bit like a single flash of light or a 'click'. A pulse is a broad click :-) Triplets are where you get a regularly spaced series of three 'flashes' (a bit like morse code, or the ticking of a clock). A gaussian can be expected to be seen as Arecibo sweeps across a point in the sky that is the source of a continuous transmission.

If you look at your task results on the s@h website for your account, you'll see the summary such as:

Spike count: 0
Pulse count: 2
Triplet count: 1
Gaussian count: 0

So that last is a 'quiet' one. If that point in the sky shows more results multiple times, then that becomes more interesting to look there again.


And then there is also the 'social' aspects that s@h and more recently Boinc has promoted. Welcome to the forums!

Keep searchin',
Martin
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Message 1168823 - Posted: 7 Nov 2011, 2:43:40 UTC
Last modified: 7 Nov 2011, 2:44:15 UTC

If someone were to transmit a signal into space and we were able to detect it here on Earth, would it show up in only one given task (or work unit - WU)?

One single task only covers a small frequency band based on the Base frequency used for the task in question. Not only does a possible signal have to be detected at the correct time, also the mentioned Base frequency has to match.

With the current method of dividing or splitting the sky up into very small pieces, as well as observing the same or a consecutive area of space on different frequencies, only the result from the task being returned is possibly valid for that task alone.

This definitely makes this task of finding an intelligent signal in space a quite challenging one (or "daunting", perhaps) in my mind.

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Message 1169065 - Posted: 8 Nov 2011, 2:58:41 UTC - in response to Message 1165741.

Would a non-natural redio signal stand out against the background noise of space?

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Message 1169300 - Posted: 9 Nov 2011, 2:18:39 UTC - in response to Message 1169065.

Maybe you were able to read my thoughts today.

What numbers are we supposed not to be receiving in order to believe that there are no other intelligent life out there (except for us down here)?

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Message 1169316 - Posted: 9 Nov 2011, 3:46:06 UTC - in response to Message 1169300.

considering we are looking at the 1420Mhz bandwidth is very clean and we'd expect Others to actually transmit at that frequency to stand out from the background
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Message 1169347 - Posted: 9 Nov 2011, 6:15:30 UTC - in response to Message 1169316.

considering we are looking at the 1420Mhz bandwidth is very clean and we'd expect Others to actually transmit at that frequency to stand out from the background

1420?! Don't they know the magic frequency is pi/2.

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Message 1169382 - Posted: 9 Nov 2011, 10:11:39 UTC - in response to Message 1169347.

Since the spectrum of random noise is well known it can be filtered out using a statistical filter that would allow a signal to pop up out of the noise. Quasars and other galactic phenomena would also have known characteristics that can be filtered out as well.

How far out can we expect to hear ? It depends on the power and focus of the beam. So far 50 years and nothing.

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Message 1170019 - Posted: 11 Nov 2011, 8:47:54 UTC - in response to Message 1169382.
Last modified: 11 Nov 2011, 8:48:17 UTC

....... So far 50 years and nothing.

Keep the faith Daddio. Your going to see and hear some amazing things in the next few years. Things that will put the best episodes of Star Trek to shame.

Keep the faith!
John.
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Message 1170585 - Posted: 12 Nov 2011, 20:23:52 UTC
Last modified: 12 Nov 2011, 20:24:20 UTC

Today I came across a replay of the WOW signal on YouTube with better sound quality than I previously have heard.

The address for the web-link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=T1E4kstjZWo

Check it out if you wish.

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Message 1171576 - Posted: 17 Nov 2011, 4:41:46 UTC
Last modified: 17 Nov 2011, 4:43:10 UTC

According to American theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, there could possible Type 1 through Type 5 civilizations existing in space.

We are still a Type 0 civilization, but will become a Type 1 civilization around the year 2100 (and possibly slightly earlier than that).

If a Type 3 civilization is found to be existing, it would be confined to space itself.

But what about a Type 2 civilization? Would such a civilization have the technological capabilities in order to make us a visit here on earth from a star system nearby.

A possible example might be Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris).

Though it has a white dwarf companion, the main star itself is having spectral class FV IV (or F5 IV-V/DA if the white dwarf is included).

More technical information for this star can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procyon .

This means that Procyon now is a quite old star. It has started to evolve away from the Main Sequence and has become a subgiant.

For any possible inhabitants living on a possible planet belonging to this star, the day may now have become a little to hot for comfort, at least in any summers they might have there.

If stars become hostile because of either age, or rapid evolvement because of their large mass, the possible inhabitants of such a star may in the meantime have been able to develop technologies in order for them to get to another place better suitable for living.

But this is of course pure speculation.

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