What do I do if I observe a potential positive/false positive?


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Message boards : SETI@home Science : What do I do if I observe a potential positive/false positive?

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DNied
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Message 1289916 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 2:52:57 UTC

title says it all... what do i do?

OzzFan
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Message 1289920 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 3:04:17 UTC - in response to Message 1289916.

You do nothing since you do not have enough information to make that kind of call.

We are only analyzing signals at this point. All signals, including potential positives, false positives, and any other interesting signal that our computers find in the noise is inserted into the Master Science Database.

Anything that shows the most interest will get additional observation time using whatever satellite the data was recorded at. If we can get a repeating signal from the same location, we may have found something.

The key is that it must be a repeating signal from the same location. Since our workunits are only 108 seconds long, we don't have the larger piece of the puzzle to know that a single workunit is a potential positive or a false positive.

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Message 1289924 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 3:20:55 UTC

can i post the graphic of what i'm seeing for some feedback on what could cause it?

i've only been doing seti@home for about a month and a half now i believe, but i've watched the graphics a lot as my pc sits on screensaver most of the time in the background. so seeing this graphic really threw me off.
i've removed all location/personal information from the image, as of course that info would only be relevant to those on the inside of the project.

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Message 1289942 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 4:52:52 UTC


well, here it is at any rate. - shrug -

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Message 1289944 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 4:54:05 UTC - in response to Message 1289942.

it does change, so it's not just repeating this specific thing repeatedly. but pretty well everything in this particular project is a series of lines very similar to this.

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Message 1289946 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 4:58:00 UTC - in response to Message 1289944.
Last modified: 1 Oct 2012, 5:01:33 UTC

posting another...

Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 1290052 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 14:35:31 UTC
Last modified: 1 Oct 2012, 14:39:01 UTC

DNied,
What you are seeing in your SETI@home screen saver is NOT a positive detection of ET. Its just radio noise, nothing else!

Your computer is sifting through that radio noise and extracting pulses and spikes and stuff like that. When it finishes each work unit, it sends the result back to Berkeley university and the SETI@home scientists then try to match your results with millions of other work units from other peoples computers.

Don't worry, if your computer finds ET, the scientists will get in touch with you. But this is very very unlikely. DNied just enjoy the screen saver and be pleased that your making a real contribution to something very important!

John.
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Message 1290086 - Posted: 1 Oct 2012, 16:25:31 UTC - in response to Message 1289946.

Here is an explanation of what you're seeing in the screen saver / graphics window. The information on that page is from SETI Classic, but the information still applies to the current graphics.


Personally, even though those patterns look interesting, my guess is that they are from local sources, but even if they're not, they will be recorded into the Master Science Database. If they are truly interesting, that position may be re-observed at a later point in time.

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Message 1290283 - Posted: 2 Oct 2012, 3:43:44 UTC - in response to Message 1290086.

thanks for the links!
And yah, I figured it was just interference of some sort, but the fact that it's not just a single band blowing up the rest of them, but is pretty much everything in that portion having an odd, wobbling, fairly leveled out frequency that made it just look so off to me.
is there any way for me to find out what it wound up being sometime down the line when it's fully studied?
this is relevant to my interests!

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Message 1290378 - Posted: 2 Oct 2012, 11:49:11 UTC - in response to Message 1290283.

The project has only promised to notify us if we have indeed found 'the' signal. Any other signal remains stored in the MSD. Most of us could only offer best guesses as to what it may be, but I don't think there's any way to know for certain.

Message boards : SETI@home Science : What do I do if I observe a potential positive/false positive?

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