A question about the WOW signal

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John D AnthonyProject Donor

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Message 1724016 - Posted: 9 Sep 2015, 23:52:11 UTC

When the WOW signal was heard, was any attention given to the area in the opposite direction? Meaning that, given the exact time of the signal, it should be possible to plot a line from the area of the signal through the location of the Earth at that moment to determine where the signal might have actually been directed.
I haven't seen any reference to it in any of the articles I've read.
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Profile William Rothamel
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Message 1724045 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 0:54:52 UTC - in response to Message 1724016.  

The earth's core is molten iron and radioactive as well. I doubt that a signal could pass though the earth or bounce around the ionosphere at those frequencies
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Message 1724055 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 1:09:38 UTC - in response to Message 1724045.  

The earth's core is molten iron and radioactive as well. I doubt that a signal could pass though the earth or bounce around the ionosphere at those frequencies

Oh, man. Now I'm depressed.

Anybody...?
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Message 1724202 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 9:54:09 UTC - in response to Message 1724016.  

When the WOW signal was heard, was any attention given to the area in the opposite direction? Meaning that, given the exact time of the signal, it should be possible to plot a line from the area of the signal through the location of the Earth at that moment to determine where the signal might have actually been directed.
I haven't seen any reference to it in any of the articles I've read.

Did u somewhere learn or read that WoW signal was "directional beam"? :/

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Message 1724224 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 12:32:26 UTC

I might be mistaken, but even if it was a directed beam, we still wouldn't know when it was sent, so it might have reached its intended receiver long ago and just continued to swirl through space until it also (and accidently) reached us too.
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Message 1724225 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 12:34:16 UTC - in response to Message 1724045.  

The earth's core is molten iron and radioactive as well. I doubt that a signal could pass though the earth or bounce around the ionosphere at those frequencies

If it was an intelligent signal isn't it likely that by the time it got here it wasn't so tightly focused that the mere earth blocked it entirely? Or was it omni directional making it not aimed in a specific direction?
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Message 1724233 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 13:27:18 UTC - in response to Message 1724224.  

I might be mistaken, but even if it was a directed beam, we still wouldn't know when it was sent, so it might have reached its intended receiver long ago and just continued to swirl through space until it also (and accidently) reached us too.

we know it's speed, so we know when it will be >v certain point in time...& where it was certain point in time...

but thing is, there is NOTHING there, when we looked up...so we don't know from WHERE was it sent? ;)

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Message 1724241 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 14:16:12 UTC
Last modified: 10 Sep 2015, 14:20:07 UTC

Assume a beam-like, directed signal, with Earth just happening to be directly between the sender and the receiver. The point of origin was at about 19 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by -27 degrees, 3 minutes, in the constellation Sagittarius.
The opposite point on the celestial sphere should, I believe, be 7 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by + 27 degrees, 3 minutes. That location is in the constellation Gemini, about as far from Alpha and Beta Geminorum (Castor and Pollux) as they are from one another, and to the South of Castor. b 2 Geminorum is a star similar, in some respects, to our Sun, near that location.
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Message 1724320 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 17:44:53 UTC - in response to Message 1724241.  

Assume a beam-like, directed signal, with Earth just happening to be directly between the sender and the receiver. The point of origin was at about 19 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by -27 degrees, 3 minutes, in the constellation Sagittarius.
The opposite point on the celestial sphere should, I believe, be 7 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by + 27 degrees, 3 minutes. That location is in the constellation Gemini, about as far from Alpha and Beta Geminorum (Castor and Pollux) as they are from one another, and to the South of Castor. b 2 Geminorum is a star similar, in some respects, to our Sun, near that location.

Excellent!
I do assume it was a beam-like, directed signal, and if we also assume that it was a typical exchange it would indicate why we're not hearing much in the broad spectrum.
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Message 1724371 - Posted: 10 Sep 2015, 20:34:54 UTC - in response to Message 1724320.  

Assume a beam-like, directed signal, with Earth just happening to be directly between the sender and the receiver. The point of origin was at about 19 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by -27 degrees, 3 minutes, in the constellation Sagittarius.
The opposite point on the celestial sphere should, I believe, be 7 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by + 27 degrees, 3 minutes. That location is in the constellation Gemini, about as far from Alpha and Beta Geminorum (Castor and Pollux) as they are from one another, and to the South of Castor. b 2 Geminorum is a star similar, in some respects, to our Sun, near that location.

Excellent!
I do assume it was a beam-like, directed signal, and if we also assume that it was a typical exchange it would indicate why we're not hearing much in the broad spectrum.

And a further thought on that idea - if typical exchanges are done using beam-like directed signals then we're only going to hear them when we're accidentally crossing their paths, and we're missing the rest of the picture when we only focus on the source and not the possible target as well. Assuming that there is little omni-directional signal use would mean that we are ignoring half of all potential candidates when we hear something unusual.
We've got enough receivers around the world. Is any attempt made to identify candidates with corresponding candidates in the exact opposite direction?
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Message 1724969 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 7:34:31 UTC

Excellent!
I do assume it was a beam-like, directed signal, and if we also assume that it was a typical exchange it would indicate why we're not hearing much in the broad spectrum.


If Geminorum was the target and it is over 50LY away from us. No idea how far the signal traveled before it got us. We may need to listen for a response in a 100 years or so. If we intercept any communication it would most likely would be a beacon or some other form of one way communication.

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Message 1725014 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 12:30:05 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2015, 12:30:56 UTC

Since we are not in a fixed position would we be in the same relative position in our orbit of the sun the next time this hypothetical signal is sent or would it be broad enough to blanket us no matter our position.
Bob DeWoody

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Message 1725066 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 14:59:56 UTC - in response to Message 1724371.  

Assume a beam-like, directed signal, with Earth just happening to be directly between the sender and the receiver. The point of origin was at about 19 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by -27 degrees, 3 minutes, in the constellation Sagittarius.
The opposite point on the celestial sphere should, I believe, be 7 hours, 17 minutes, 18 seconds by + 27 degrees, 3 minutes. That location is in the constellation Gemini, about as far from Alpha and Beta Geminorum (Castor and Pollux) as they are from one another, and to the South of Castor. b 2 Geminorum is a star similar, in some respects, to our Sun, near that location.

Excellent!
I do assume it was a beam-like, directed signal, and if we also assume that it was a typical exchange it would indicate why we're not hearing much in the broad spectrum.

And a further thought on that idea - if typical exchanges are done using beam-like directed signals then we're only going to hear them when we're accidentally crossing their paths, and we're missing the rest of the picture when we only focus on the source and not the possible target as well. Assuming that there is little omni-directional signal use would mean that we are ignoring half of all potential candidates when we hear something unusual.
We've got enough receivers around the world. Is any attempt made to identify candidates with corresponding candidates in the exact opposite direction?

Ah, don't forget the sun is in orbit around the galactic center. The return answer to the signal would not pass through our location as we will have moved. Frankly so will the sender and receiver. Any civilization advanced enough to be signaling across that distance will know where to point so their signal will arrive at the right spot at the right time.
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Message 1725119 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 17:02:42 UTC - in response to Message 1724969.  

Excellent!
I do assume it was a beam-like, directed signal, and if we also assume that it was a typical exchange it would indicate why we're not hearing much in the broad spectrum.


If Geminorum was the target and it is over 50LY away from us. No idea how far the signal traveled before it got us. We may need to listen for a response in a 100 years or so. If we intercept any communication it would most likely would be a beacon or some other form of one way communication.

Bob


I'm thinking that any intelligence out there is going to use directed signals with a network of some kind to make it more efficient, and that we have a better chance of hearing or seeing something if we try to deduce what that network would look like and how it would work.
A network could carry signals traveling in opposite directions, but I'm not proposing a real-time exchange. Sending and receiving overlap once a dialog begins. This is something we're used to - "The other party is typing..." and we go on writing and sending anyway. Asking a question that requires an answer before continuing wouldn't be practical so it wouldn't be the norm.
Determining location and target wouldn't necessarily tell us where the signal originated or where the recipient might be, but it might tell us where to look for the nodes of a network if one exists.
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Message 1725129 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 17:37:45 UTC - in response to Message 1725066.  

[/quote]Ah, don't forget the sun is in orbit around the galactic center. The return answer to the signal would not pass through our location as we will have moved. Frankly so will the sender and receiver. Any civilization advanced enough to be signaling across that distance will know where to point so their signal will arrive at the right spot at the right time.[/quote]

We do orbit the galactic center at varying speeds, but how many degrees of actual drift in location occurs within an area of 5 or 10LYs?
Again, I'm looking at this with the idea of a fixed network carrying signals as opposed to omni-directional or planet to planet. I've proposed one idea for positioning relays and I'm sure there are more and better ones. My idea would only require a group 4 stars moving at roughly the same speed to hold a relay, and there would have to be millions of groups like that in any quadrant.
Relays, presumably, would have to be able to compute and compensate for drift to function at all.
The WOW signal could have been an exchange between two such relays that we happened to wander through. I'd like to know if the path of that signal passes through any area that might serve as a relay point.
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Message 1725142 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 18:27:47 UTC - in response to Message 1725014.  

Since we are not in a fixed position would we be in the same relative position in our orbit of the sun the next time this hypothetical signal is sent or would it be broad enough to blanket us no matter our position.


If we're wandering through a shifting web of directed signals we're wasting our time trying to listen for a reply from it's intended destination. Odds are we will never be in precisely the same point to pick up that or any other directed transmission more than once.
However, if the signal comes from a fixed relay capable of sending multiple signals to multiple targets we may pass between that point and another of it's targets again.
If we assume that any intercepted signal comes from a relay and targets an area of empty space then that's where we would look for another relay.
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Message 1725152 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 19:06:04 UTC

Take a look at our nearest inter-stellar neighbour (Proxima Centauri). This star is about 4.25 light years away, its relative location to us hasn't changed very much in the last 100 years, so I would be tempted to say "not a lot of very little", probably less than the directional accuracy of the telescope that detected the Wow signal....
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Message 1725188 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 21:08:40 UTC - in response to Message 1725152.  

Take a look at our nearest inter-stellar neighbour (Proxima Centauri). This star is about 4.25 light years away, its relative location to us hasn't changed very much in the last 100 years, so I would be tempted to say "not a lot of very little", probably less than the directional accuracy of the telescope that detected the Wow signal....

If the WOW signal came from a relay then it should still be there, and my thinking is that the odds of hearing it transmit to another specific location are pretty remote and actually get worse the closer we are to it. Laser-carried signals could still be very tight beams when they pass us.
If a relay were held in place the way I suggested then it should be possible to follow the path of the signal and determine if it goes through any areas of associated stars that would produce the required balancing point to hold a relay. We then examine those areas at the correct resolution to see if anything there is producing heat or reflecting light. It wouldn't be something you would notice unless you were looking for it.
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Message 1725261 - Posted: 13 Sep 2015, 1:34:27 UTC - in response to Message 1725188.  

Take a look at our nearest inter-stellar neighbour (Proxima Centauri). This star is about 4.25 light years away, its relative location to us hasn't changed very much in the last 100 years, so I would be tempted to say "not a lot of very little", probably less than the directional accuracy of the telescope that detected the Wow signal....

If the WOW signal came from a relay then it should still be there, and my thinking is that the odds of hearing it transmit to another specific location are pretty remote and actually get worse the closer we are to it. Laser-carried signals could still be very tight beams when they pass us.
If a relay were held in place the way I suggested then it should be possible to follow the path of the signal and determine if it goes through any areas of associated stars that would produce the required balancing point to hold a relay. We then examine those areas at the correct resolution to see if anything there is producing heat or reflecting light. It wouldn't be something you would notice unless you were looking for it.

And I would add this: If we assume the existence of a system using directed beams then we're never going to hear a neighbor yelling at us with an omni-directional signal because it would be counterproductive - to do that would not only be trying to initiate a conversation with us at the crudest level, it would distract us from finding the system we should be looking for. If they want to have a conversation with us they're going to wait until we find the phone.
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Message 1729246 - Posted: 26 Sep 2015, 19:42:27 UTC - in response to Message 1725261.  

If we assume the existence of a system using directed beams then we're never going to hear a neighbor yelling at us with an omni-directional signal because it would be counterproductive - to do that would not only be trying to initiate a conversation with us at the crudest level, it would distract us from finding the system we should be looking for. If they want to have a conversation with us they're going to wait until we find the phone.


Well said above!

Let's face it, the last I heard we are limited by the speed of light, and that limit applies to how fast we can move thru space and how long it would take to identify and, hopefully, communicate with another civilization by establishing two-way communication.

The only civilization that would use an omni-directional microwave signal to try to contact other civilizations would be a young one and one who is totally clueless. By using a tight highly directional beam you would increase your transmission / reception range many fold, BUT only if you knew WHERE to point the narrow beam. The same of course goes for other civilizations. It is totally doubtful we could ever reach any other civilization using a conventional microwave signal, either by using an omni OR a highly directive beam and exchange two-way communication.

OK, let's say you DO contact "someone" out there. Let's say its only an Alpha Centauri planet, only 4.25 or so light years away. Idle "chit chat" would be impossible as you would have to wait 8.5 years for a reply. Idle "chit chat," i.e., normal conversation, would require the signal be above the thermal noise floor, which is highly doubtful. Your communication would likely have to be in the form of a repetitive data stream, i.e., ones and zeroes, a signal sent over and over again. This is the technique used by Voyager, and other deep space probes, and something I became aware of while working in the space arena. This would allow, roughly, a weak signal perhaps 20 dB or so below the thermal floor to be received.

Conventional communication in the form of above the noise floor "chit chat" using microwave signals would be severely limited, range-wise, almost, in terms of distances in space, to "line of sight." How long are you willing to wait for an answer to a question like "Hi, Joe how are things?" One light-minute? which is 11,160,000 miles to Joe and back, OR? In outer space, radio communication is kinda like using semaphore flags. To be of value a two-way exchange needs to be within seconds, or minutes, and certainly less than an hour in the extreme.

Quoting from the above: "If they want to have a conversation with us they're going to wait until we find the phone." YES!

I suspect that conventional microwave communication is only used by other civilizations, if its used at all, to contact their own people elsewhere, and not too far off. They would know WHERE to point the beam, and vice versa.

The universe, as we've come to know it, is very old, and many feel that life abounds "out there." In all likelihood it does. So, say that's true? It would seem that most, if not all, of these distant civilizations are older than us, and know a lot more than we do, perhaps? What I'm thinking is that, during their early "teen age" years, where we are now, they would have progressed similar to us, and have long since developed and used microwave signals, as we do, and, realizing how limited it would be for normal "chit chat" in space they now use something far superior? What could it be? It has to be a form of communication not limited by light speed, perhaps some sort of "worm hole" effect, the same way they would likely travel around their sphere of influence? Maybe this is why in all the years SETI has been at work, WOW signals are an extreme rarity, if one existed at all? As the author quoted way above said: "we need the right phone."

Comments appreciated on this. If other civilizations do exist, they will likely have gone out from their home planets, explored other worlds, colonized some, and created, over hundreds of years, an "empire" of sorts, like we will, wouldn't you think? How do they TALK to others in their empire? By short-wave radio? By directed microwave beams, I doubt it, WAY WAY to slow and inefficient.
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