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Jenna Ware
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Message 1286839 - Posted: 22 Sep 2012, 22:35:58 UTC

Everyone.

I am wondering about a couple of things? Perhaps someone can help me?

1. My computer has done about 830,000 tasks, I guess it is. Can someone explain to me what that is? Does that mean analyzed 830,000 signals or parts of signals?

and

2. Are these signals likeunto analyzing a singular radio signal? Because I find myself wondering if it could be possible for a species to send a radio signal, but bits of the signal over different frequencies at the same time (broad band), so it'd go out faster, etc. If so then analyzing one-freq signals would likely miss something, wouldn't they?

I'm just wondering if someone can help me understand here?

Thank you

Jenna

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Message 1286879 - Posted: 23 Sep 2012, 1:16:25 UTC - in response to Message 1286839.

Astropulse is exploring a wider bank of frequencies than Multibeam.
Tullio
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Message 1286898 - Posted: 23 Sep 2012, 2:38:31 UTC

Your computer is sent a batch of raw data that was recieved by the Arecibo radio telescope which is mainly space noise. You computer is loaded with a software package that analyzes the raw data looking for evidence of any pattern that might be of non natural origin. If found the signal would be cross checked with other batches from the same area of the sky.
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Message 1287032 - Posted: 23 Sep 2012, 13:06:34 UTC
Last modified: 23 Sep 2012, 13:06:56 UTC

euh... me, what i'm catching is : Jenna made got so far 830,000 'credits'.

credits are their way to 'mesure' the amount of 'computing effort' your PC made so far. some quick tasks can give 20-40 credits and some other like the astropulses can give 500-1000 credits. it s a way to mesure your effort into that project.

unfortunatly, credits are just a mesure unit, we cant buy a telescope ^^ or whatever with these :)
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Message 1287455 - Posted: 24 Sep 2012, 17:58:51 UTC

We may not be able to buy a telescope, but one day one of us will get that ever so elusive toaster....
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Jenna Ware
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Message 1287806 - Posted: 25 Sep 2012, 23:01:33 UTC

So my computer, here has done about 850,000 somethings we refer to as "credits," and that is a measure of the amount of work it's done?

Aricebo: I'm thiking "Carl Sagan" and "Jodi Foster"?

But how large of a signal are the bits my computer are measuring? LIttle bits of single-frequency signals? Or is it also comparing other signals that might be happening at the same time (like as if it were a broadband signal)?

I'm just curious. It churns away over there...

Thank you

Jenna

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Message 1287849 - Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 1:16:47 UTC - in response to Message 1287806.
Last modified: 26 Sep 2012, 1:23:37 UTC

Perhaps you meant to say Jodie Foster?

There was a great picture of her besides one of the antennae receivers being used by Seti@home. For now, I do not know where that picture is located.

My best guess is that each individual Seti@home task are separate from each other, but that they may be related to each other over time based on the position in the sky.

The numbers being obtained from a given task is perhaps not a direct representation of a given signal should one such happen to exist, even though a specific frequency range is being analyzed for each such task.

Gaussians are being part of the detection mechanism in Seti@home tasks because the algorithm being used analyzes the data and tries to determine a "best-shaped" gaussian curve from what is present in the data, assumedly spikes and pulses, which most are supposed to be occurring naturally.

We unfortunately happen to be are using the radio waves here as well. We are being hampered by the everyday use of everything which involves communication. Also nature has its own radio sources, like Jupiter, the Sun, the Crab Nebulae M1 and the elliptical radio galaxy M87 in the center of the Virgo Cluster.

An example of an intelligent signal which we chose to broadcast ourselves into space happened already back in 1973. This transmission was in the direction of the globular cluster M13. Any receiver in the other end probably will be become very excited about getting such a signal.

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Message 1287859 - Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 1:58:43 UTC - in response to Message 1287849.

Jodi Foster had her picture taken next to the Allen Telescope Array, which is not one of the satellites SETI@Home uses; that's what the SETI Institute uses.

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Message 1287983 - Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 11:42:53 UTC
Last modified: 26 Sep 2012, 12:09:29 UTC

BOINC credit.

A brief (I hope) explanation:

1 GFlOp = 1 billion floating point operations/calculations per second.... how fast your CPU (or video GPU) works.

The BOINC credit, the "Cobblestone" (so named as invented by Jeff Cobb, a play on the "Whetstone" term for benchmarking processing speed) is: a 1 GFlOp computer working a full day of 24 hours will do 200 Cobblestones' worth of calculations, so earn 200 credits.

So each Cobblestone/BOINC credit point is (1 billion ops per second x 24 hours per day x 3600 seconds per hour) / 200 = 432 billion floating point operations (this also nicely illustrates just how inexpensive computing is these days.)

Your RAC (recent average credit) is 5,676, so your computer is doing 5,676 / 200 = about 28 GFlOps, 28 billion floating point operations per second.

Hope this is correct... haven't had my coffee yet. :^)
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Message 1288012 - Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 12:43:34 UTC

There was a great picture of her besides one of the antennae receivers being used by Seti@home. For now, I do not know where that picture is located.


Do you mean this one??


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Message 1288029 - Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 13:13:42 UTC - in response to Message 1288012.

There was a great picture of her besides one of the antennae receivers being used by Seti@home. For now, I do not know where that picture is located.


Do you mean this one??


This is Arecibo.
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Message 1288033 - Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 13:38:49 UTC - in response to Message 1287806.

But how large of a signal are the bits my computer are measuring? LIttle bits of single-frequency signals? Or is it also comparing other signals that might be happening at the same time (like as if it were a broadband signal)?

I'm just curious. It churns away over there...

Thank you

Jenna

Jenna, I suggest you start by having a look at the "About SETI@home" page. In particular, although a bit dated, there is a detailed description in "Learn more about how SETI@home works" of how the data are obtained from the radio telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, how they are converted into the work units that you and I process, and much more. The Astropulse FAQ is a useful starting point for learning about the broadband searches performed in this part of the project. There is also a more detailed description of the Astropulse science.
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Message 1288272 - Posted: 27 Sep 2012, 2:03:09 UTC

Great picture of Jodie Foster there. Better than the first one I saw.

I happened to come across a reference to an earlier Seti@home signal candidate, SHGb11+15a.

So I tried google it for more information and found this web-page, http://science.slashdot.org/story/03/12/08/1723225/seti-project-scientist-discusses-prospects having a little more.

So the reference goes to http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/Candidates/SHGb11+15a/gaussian_profiles.html which obviously is wrong. I do not get access there.

Rather try out http://setiaclassic.ssl.berkeley.edu/Candidates/SHGb11+15a/gaussian_profiles.html instead.

Have a look at the nearby gaussians included there. Also the pulses as well.

Is this signal a gaussian itself. What is its signal curve? What is the power, fit and score for this signal candidate and what makes it better or different than other gaussians which may be present?

If you happen to know, please tell me. Perhaps others want an explanation as well regarding this subject.

Jenna Ware
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Message 1288588 - Posted: 27 Sep 2012, 22:28:07 UTC

Ok. Wow. I got lots of information.

I am truly more of a groupie than a genius. I have a Caltech shirt. If worn, someone might ask, "Did you got to Caltech?" I'd answer, "Yes. To get this shirt."

I do go visit sometimes as I have connections there. But truly, I'm a liberal arts groupie. I watch the "Big Bang Theory." I've enjoyed "Real Genius," with Val Kilmer. I've enjoyed "Contact," and "Star Trek." But I'm little more, here, in the genius department, than Penny is on BBT.

Sooooooooo.............

Now that I asked my hard question: I am totally confused.

I don't know what I"m doing, but I'm guessing it's good. My appreciation for alien life is grand, and perhaps I'm helping in that search, which is good.

Thank you for your attempt to explain.

Were we to meet an alien--hopefully more like the Vulcans of Cochran's first flight and less like the ones in "Aliens"--I think I'd enjoy learning about them. But I doubt I'll be able to contribute to the science of finding them, other than devote a laptop to it.

So thank you for your help, guys.

If you need to program their computer with one of our viruses, so we can fend off an invation, I'll be the one serving the pizza.

Ciao.

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Message 1288615 - Posted: 28 Sep 2012, 0:28:44 UTC - in response to Message 1288588.

If you need to program their computer with one of our viruses, so we can fend off an invation, I'll be the one serving the pizza.


As an expert in IT, I have to tell you (even though I know you meant this light-heartedly, but others may not know this) that doing so would be nearly impossible to be done in time to save our world from invasion.

Writing a computer program, whether it be a helpful one or a virus/trojan, requires intimate knowledge of the hardware you're writing for. For us, many programmers simply allow the compiler to do all the hard work of translating code into machine language - but someone had to write that compiler to do the translating.

If an alien race were ever to invade a la Independence Day, I would hazard an educated guess that their technology would be so far advanced compared to our own that it would possibly take decades or longer to figure it's ins and outs - assuming we got a hold of their technology to reverse engineer it.

I love the movie, but this is one bit that has always 'bugged' me (pun intended). I have the same level of complaint against other TV shows I watch these days (the ones constantly mentioning multiple "firewalls" as the best line of computer defense).


Anyway, glad you got your information (even if I was wrong about the satellite and Jodie Foster), and keep enjoying that Big Bang Theory, it has some educational bits in there if you pay attention! :-D

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Message 1313989 - Posted: 11 Dec 2012, 15:12:05 UTC - in response to Message 1287859.

Regarding Jodi Foster. Arecibo was in The Movie 'CONTACT' with Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway. Just after the Movie Started (and Ellie was shown as a young Woman - Jodie foster), she stood below Areciboand looked up at it. The S.E.T.I. Program started at Arecibo, where The character of Ellie arroway began working on The S.E.T.I. Project, until The Program was Closed down. it was then that they moved to The Allen Telescope Array. This LINK shows a couple of Photos of her at ARECIBO http://www.naic.edu/tony/contact.htm
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Message 1313992 - Posted: 11 Dec 2012, 15:17:48 UTC - in response to Message 1288029.

The Photo of Jodie at the Allen telescope Array is the one on The Cover of The CONTACT DVD.
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Message 1313994 - Posted: 11 Dec 2012, 15:20:21 UTC - in response to Message 1288033.

But how large of a signal are the bits my computer are measuring? LIttle bits of single-frequency signals? Or is it also comparing other signals that might be happening at the same time (like as if it were a broadband signal)?

I'm just curious. It churns away over there...

Thank you

Jenna

Jenna, I suggest you start by having a look at the "About SETI@home" page. In particular, although a bit dated, there is a detailed description in "Learn more about how SETI@home works" of how the data are obtained from the radio telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico, how they are converted into the work units that you and I process, and much more. The Astropulse FAQ is a useful starting point for learning about the broadband searches performed in this part of the project. There is also a more detailed description of the Astropulse science.


The Description of The Screensaver and How it Works gives a fair idea of it too.
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Message 1314066 - Posted: 12 Dec 2012, 0:07:15 UTC
Last modified: 12 Dec 2012, 0:10:06 UTC

Actually, it was the VLA (Very Large Array) radio telescope in New Mexico that appeared in Contact, not the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). Contact was released in 1997. Construction didn't begin on the ATA until 2004.

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