RATAN 600 Observatory Reports Possible SETI Detection in Hercules

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Michael Watson

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Message 1813019 - Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 17:42:30 UTC
Last modified: 27 Aug 2016, 17:43:28 UTC

The RATAN 600 radio astronomy observatory in southern Russia reports a possible SETI detection from the star HD 164595, in Hercules. The detection occurred on May 15th, 2015 at a wavelength of about 2.7 centimeters, with a strength of about 750 milliJanskys.
The star concerned is very similar in mass, and metallicity to our Sun, and is believed to be about 95 light years distant. It is thought to be about 6.3 billion years old, considerably older than our Sun.

This detection will be discussed at the meeting of the IAA SETI Permanent Committee, at Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27th.

The linked article, below covers this story in greater detail:

http://www.centauridreams.org/?p=36248
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Michael Watson

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Message 1813038 - Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 19:13:37 UTC
Last modified: 27 Aug 2016, 20:01:01 UTC

Sorry for error in link address, which made it unusable. The correct link address is given below:

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=36248
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Profile William Rothamel
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Message 1813042 - Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 20:00:41 UTC - in response to Message 1813038.  
Last modified: 27 Aug 2016, 20:01:36 UTC

If it were sent by an Intelligent civilization. It wouldn't just be a signal--it would be modulated with some content that indicated intelligence residing at the source. So, is the received signal modulated in any way, and if so what is the content ?

Please don't tell me that the signal itself was not recorded.
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Michael Watson

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Message 1813048 - Posted: 27 Aug 2016, 20:23:40 UTC

Looking at the graph of the signal strength over time, included in the article, there appear to be seven dips in power level, distributed across the 2 & 1/2 seconds of the signal's duration. These could be evidence of some form of modulation, assuming they're not caused by background noise.
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Message 1813121 - Posted: 28 Aug 2016, 2:58:53 UTC
Last modified: 28 Aug 2016, 3:12:53 UTC

If I am not wrong, both this project as well as web-pages are generally accessible for the general public.

Look at the graph in the correct web-page being mentioned.

Is this perhaps a spike, or is it rather RFI?

In which way are you supposed to be making the difference and next in which way is it possible to tell about possible intelligence being present in such a signal?

If a radio transmission or broadcast was being used to modulate a possible signal, any information being present could first be audible and next would have to be interpreted by converting it into a digital format.

This is in fact what we are doing, but are we perhaps more concerned about the conversion itself, or the numbers being obtained, rather than the fact that the intended meaning could still be thought of as an audible one and that a possible conversion into digital data may not be telling the whole story?

Compare with whale song or the whining sounds coming from the dolphins.

Is it perhaps about a difference in languange and our inability at understanding their vocal communication, or could we in fact be able to understand what they are saying only by making a possible analog through digital conversion of the audible sounds?

The fact is that an analog sound could be represented by means of a wave, but a pure wave could also be thought of as being a sine or sinusoidal.

For the sine function, we have the following simple conversion table using degrees.


0 - 0

30 - 0,5

45 - 0,70710678118654752440084436210485

60 - 0,86602540378443864676372317075294

67.5 - 0,92387953251128675612818318939679

90 - 1

120 - 0,86602540378443864676372317075294

135 - 0,70710678118654752440084436210485

150 - 0,5

180 - 0

202.5 - -0,3826834323650897717284599840304

210 - -0,5

225 - -0,70710678118654752440084436210485

240 - -0,86602540378443864676372317075294

270 - -1

300 - -0,86602540378443864676372317075294

315 - -0,70710678118654752440084436210485

360 - 0

If you next think that a given message could be interpreted using some other values in between, you probably could be a step closer.

But when doing so, we first need to prove the existence of other intelligent civilizations in space.

Also could be noted that sin(67.5) relates to sin(202.5) if you divide in the correct order.

If you next square the result, you get 8. Next look at the square root of this number and its inverse result 1/(sqrt(8)).

Also the same could be done using 2, instead, meaning (1/sqrt(2)).
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Message 1813162 - Posted: 28 Aug 2016, 9:20:11 UTC
Last modified: 28 Aug 2016, 9:23:02 UTC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binomial_distribution

Found this link by reading through the discussion at the Message Boards for PrimeGrid.

This link could be of interest here as well.

Searching for the term using Google also gives a couple more suggestions for reading.
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Michael Watson

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Message 1813258 - Posted: 28 Aug 2016, 20:22:32 UTC

Since the signal was detected over fifteen months ago, I surmise that the issue of radio frequency interference has already been looked into and essentially eliminated. It wasn't really made clear if the signal has been detected only once, or repeatedly.

I do not know if the signal has been recorded in greater detail than the published graph would suggest. It seems likely that more information will be released at the September 27th meeting, mentioned in the original post. So far, there have been no other news articles on this story, as far as I can discover.
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Message 1813271 - Posted: 28 Aug 2016, 21:55:37 UTC - in response to Message 1813258.  

another article.

They’re not saying it’s aliens, but signal traced to sunlike star sparks SETI interest

SETI researchers are buzzing about a strong spike in radio signals that seemed to come from the direction of a sunlike star in the constellation Hercules, known as HD 164595.

The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source – but it could also be a case of earthly radio interference, or a microlensing event in which the star’s gravitational field focused stray signals coming from much farther away.

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/signal-seti-interest-hd164595/
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Message 1813317 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 2:02:35 UTC

I see that the SETI Institute is currently monitoring HD 164595 with one of its beams, and what they call its 'companion' in another beam. Current working frequency ~ 10.7 GHz. They certainly reacted to the news quickly!
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Message 1813419 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 11:27:16 UTC - in response to Message 1813317.  
Last modified: 29 Aug 2016, 11:32:10 UTC

Always a fog of mystery and no answers surrounding these types of claims and observations.

Where are the proper reporting, answers and announcements ?

    Was it a onetime event ?
    Have other radio telescopes seen it as well
    Was the signal Recorded ?
    Is there modulation in the "signal"



If there were modulation what type was it. WAs there any non-random information in the modulation.

Since the signal was in the x-band was there a microwave oven in use, a police radar in the vicinity or was it possibly a subharmonic from a lane-change warning radar.

X-band would be an unlikely frequency for an inter-terresterial signal since water vapor greatly absorbs these frequencies.

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Message 1813462 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 15:59:47 UTC
Last modified: 29 Aug 2016, 16:01:59 UTC

Yes, 15 months is rather a long time for the Russian astronomers to have withheld the announcement. One can give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were being extraordinarily careful about checking for mundane causes of the signal, before reporting it.

It's not been definitely stated that the signal was a one-time event, though that seems to be the general impression. If this is the case , there would not have been time to alert other observatories, and nothing that they could have confirmed.

As the existence of the signal was only admitted a couple of days ago, There's not been much time for other observatories to try to find the signal, although the SETI Institute was looking for it yesterday evening.

The signal was, of course, recorded. We have their time vs. power graph as proof of that. If 'recorded' means something like an audio transcription, I don't believe that's customary in radio astronomy. I don't know the integration time used in this case, but its likely to be long enough that detailed content, if there were any, would be lost.

The plan in SETI seems to be that once a sustained, apparently artificial signal is received, technical adjustments might well be necessary to get at the detailed content; perhaps even the construction of new and better receiver systems.

I note that the graph that has been released of the signal has 7 rather definite dips. These occur, in chronological order, at intervals, approximately as follows:

300 milliseconds

100 " "

100 " "

400 " "

200 " "

400 " "

If any intelligence can be gleaned from this, I should, naturally, like to learn of it.

The stated 2.7 centimeter wavelength of the observation corresponds to a radio frequency of approximately 11 GHz. I see no noteworthy absorption by water vapor at this frequency, in charts of the microwave SETI 'window". The nearest strong absorption peak is, I believe, at around 22 GHz.
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Message 1813475 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 16:48:05 UTC

Well, hopefully, a real signal from an intelligent source will present itself sometime in the future. Maybe this is it.
Bob DeWoody

My motto: Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow as it may not be required. This no longer applies in light of current events.
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Message 1813541 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 18:57:36 UTC

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Message 1813555 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 19:33:20 UTC - in response to Message 1813462.  

And the signal strength over time could simply be fringe reception which might just last that long at a really LOW signal strength.

Define "Fixed Satellite" for me. Please use the ITU definition.
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Message 1813589 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 20:39:36 UTC - in response to Message 1813462.  
Last modified: 29 Aug 2016, 20:45:41 UTC

11 GHz. I see no noteworthy absorption by water vapor at this frequency, in charts of the microwave SETI 'window".


The reason that so much microwave research was conducted at X-Band (mine included) was that the Air Force first tried high power radar at these frequencies and found that they were absorbed. That is why there were so many Klystron's around at these frequencies that were relatively cheap. Today's microwave ovens use 2.4 GHZ and a Backward Wave Oscillator to run around 1100 watts in your microwave oven. These will boil water in a very short time as you probably know. Water absorbs wavelengths in this broad range very well. My research was done at 10.8 giga hertz and this seemed to be a popular frequency at the time. Even though I ran at less than .1 watt the 50th harmonic was still easily detected by fitting a frequency counter into the wave guide.
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Message 1813626 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 23:02:19 UTC - in response to Message 1813541.  
Last modified: 29 Aug 2016, 23:04:11 UTC

Dr. Korpela's objections seem well taken. The fact that the observations were broadbanded was not, revealed in the information released to the public. This seems to make it impossible to rule out astrophysical explanations.

The layman can only note that scientists at the SETI Institute appear to think a signal is worth searching for. They began to listen for it very soon after the announcement was made, and have done so repeatedly since then. They are doing so, as I type this.
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Message 1813634 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 23:29:34 UTC - in response to Message 1813589.  
Last modified: 29 Aug 2016, 23:33:30 UTC

The Jodrell Bank Observatory furnishes the graph, linked below, of the microwave 'window' available for SETI. The range 10--11 Ghz appears about as clear of absorption as the famous 'waterhole'

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/distance/life/sample/seti/Microwave.jpg
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Message 1813644 - Posted: 29 Aug 2016, 23:52:52 UTC - in response to Message 1813634.  

Don't forget that the y axis is in Kelvin and microwave ovens work pretty well.
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Message 1813785 - Posted: 30 Aug 2016, 13:10:47 UTC

It appears that the S@H staff has decided that this incident is not a valid candidate for being a signal from ET based on a message I read last night from S@H.
Bob DeWoody

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Message boards : SETI@home Science : RATAN 600 Observatory Reports Possible SETI Detection in Hercules


 
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