SETI & Radioastronomy News 1

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Profile Pierre A Renaud @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 1944886 - Posted: 17 Jul 2018, 11:54:22 UTC

MeerKAT, a scientific mega-project to unlock cosmic conundrums from dark energy to detecting extraterrestrial life was given a boost on Friday, July 11, when the 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope was inaugurated in the remote South African town of Carnarvon. Built at a cost of 4.4 billion rand, MeerKAT will be incorporated into the complex Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
https://www.rawstory.com/2018/07/south-africas-meerkat-help-unlock-mysteries-universe/
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Message 1944979 - Posted: 17 Jul 2018, 22:33:58 UTC

NASA Probe Primed; 20,000 Worlds Await
Bill Retherford - Jul 14, 2018
https://www.forbes.com/sites/billretherford/2018/07/14/for-nasas-tess-the-search-starts-soon/#6b43e1b31315

The robotic spacecraft, launched 12 weeks ago, is now locked into “final science orbit,” says NASA’s Padi Boyd.

So far, all is good. Everything on TESS checks out, including the four cameras.

A spectacular test shot, an image of more than 200,000 stars, is just “a taste of things to come,” says Boyd, the TESS project scientist at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Soon—perhaps by the end of July—the spacecraft will begin its long-anticipated search for exoplanets.


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Message 1945012 - Posted: 17 Jul 2018, 23:53:23 UTC - in response to Message 1944979.  
Last modified: 17 Jul 2018, 23:53:52 UTC

NASA Probe Primed; 20,000 Worlds Await
Bill Retherford - Jul 14, 2018
https://www.forbes.com/sites/billretherford/2018/07/14/for-nasas-tess-the-search-starts-soon/#6b43e1b31315

The robotic spacecraft, launched 12 weeks ago, is now locked into “final science orbit,” says NASA’s Padi Boyd.

So far, all is good. Everything on TESS checks out, including the four cameras.

A spectacular test shot, an image of more than 200,000 stars, is just “a taste of things to come,” says Boyd, the TESS project scientist at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Soon—perhaps by the end of July—the spacecraft will begin its long-anticipated search for exoplanets.


It is so cool to see images like this. Many people have no idea of just how many stars there are. They look up at night and see only the few hundred that are visible to the naked eye and think that's all there are.
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 1945032 - Posted: 18 Jul 2018, 0:46:27 UTC - in response to Message 1945012.  

NASA Probe Primed; 20,000 Worlds Await
Bill Retherford - Jul 14, 2018
https://www.forbes.com/sites/billretherford/2018/07/14/for-nasas-tess-the-search-starts-soon/#6b43e1b31315

The robotic spacecraft, launched 12 weeks ago, is now locked into “final science orbit,” says NASA’s Padi Boyd.

So far, all is good. Everything on TESS checks out, including the four cameras.

A spectacular test shot, an image of more than 200,000 stars, is just “a taste of things to come,” says Boyd, the TESS project scientist at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Soon—perhaps by the end of July—the spacecraft will begin its long-anticipated search for exoplanets.


It is so cool to see images like this. Many people have no idea of just how many stars there are. They look up at night and see only the few hundred that are visible to the naked eye and think that's all there are.

Unfortunately most of us now live in areas with terrible light pollution and can't even see the milky way anymore.
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Message 1945093 - Posted: 18 Jul 2018, 4:20:04 UTC - in response to Message 1945032.  
Last modified: 18 Jul 2018, 4:20:12 UTC

That's right. The only Milky Way I can see is the one in my candy bar drawer.
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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Message 1945109 - Posted: 18 Jul 2018, 7:05:25 UTC

That's what the sky looks like here on a clear night with the street lights out (if the street lights are on then a 3km drive will soon fix that). ;-)

Cheers.
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Message 1945149 - Posted: 18 Jul 2018, 13:10:56 UTC - in response to Message 1945109.  

Wiggo,

Can you send us a picture of the Southern Cross from Down Under ?
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Profile Pierre A Renaud @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 1947675 - Posted: 3 Aug 2018, 10:40:53 UTC

Is there anybody out there?
"There are 100 billion stars in our Galaxy – surely we can’t be the only intelligent lifeform out there? In this week’s Science Focus Podcast we ask Mike Garrett what we’ll do if we find them, and what it means for us as humans."
12th July 2018 #podcast #SETI
http://www.sciencefocus.com/article/space/science-focus-podcast-mike-garrett-bluedot-extraterrestial-communication-seti?utm_content=buffer014c0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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Message 1947730 - Posted: 3 Aug 2018, 17:13:08 UTC

Listened to the entire podcast. Mike Garrett thinks that intelligent life is rare in the galaxy, chiefly because we've found no evidence of it in our SETI searches. I consider this is a premature conclusion. As Dr. Jill Tarter has said, the SETI work done so far is like scooping a glass of water out of the ocean. If we find no fish in that glass, should we conclude, she asks, that there are no fish in the ocean? On that basis, it doesn't appear that even the rarity of fish, or extraterrestrials, can be established.

An example of this inadequacy of our cumulative SETI investigations: Mike Garrett remarks, in passing, that there is no evidence for Dyson spheres around any stars we have observed. This is incorrect. A good many stars have been found that are dimmer in visible light than expected, given their distances and spectral types, and where there is no ready astrophysical explanation for this.

Since a Dyson sphere would absorb much of a star's visible light, this constitutes evidence for Dyson spheres. What is keeping this from being a scientific headline? Our current observations are not yet good enough to rule out all possible natural causes. We need to dip out many more glasses of water from the ocean before we can say that there are or are not Dyson spheres in our galaxy.
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Message 1947790 - Posted: 4 Aug 2018, 1:17:39 UTC

That was a great listen! Thank you for posting it.

My takeaways are these:

They didn't really address the degradation of our inadvertent radio signals, like tv transmissions, over interstellar space.

He made a good point about the speed of light and how it's fast for our earthly purposes, but in the grand scheme of things it's kind of slow.

Another good point was about why we don't have better pictures nowadays of UFO's with so many people carrying mobile phones around that have pretty good camera systems in them.

I also liked the point about the discovery of an alien signal or contact being so different than what we may expect that our preparations for response may be very inadequate.
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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Message 1948323 - Posted: 7 Aug 2018, 11:52:42 UTC

An interesting newspiece from Michael:

The new Canadian CHIME radio telescope has detected another of those strange Fast Radio Bursts, this time at a substantially lower radio frequency than ever before. As the linked article, below, points out, it can not be ruled out at this time, that FRBs are the work of a very advanced, very distant civilization in space.

I found it interesting to chart the positions of the FRBs in the sky. About 1/3 of the 36 FRBs so far detected are confined to the same ~2 percent of the sky. This seems to be bucking the odds for a natural phenomenon, which would presumably be more or less evenly distributed in intergalactic space.

The odd bunching of FRBs occurs through increasing Right Ascension: 16 to 0 hours, and Declination 0 to -20 degrees.

https://www.cnet.com/news/new-radio-telescope-picks-up-mysterious-signal-from-space/

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Message 1948324 - Posted: 7 Aug 2018, 12:03:24 UTC
Last modified: 7 Aug 2018, 12:04:31 UTC

Are we alone? The question is worthy of serious scientific study, says scientist Kevin Knuth
June 28, 2018
https://theconversation.com/are-we-alone-the-question-is-worthy-of-serious-scientific-study-98843

One of the most pertinent articles referenced in aforementioned article:
Groundbreaking UFO Video Released By Chilean Navy - 01/05/2017
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/groundbreaking-ufo-video-just-released-from-chilean_us_586d37bce4b014e7c72ee56b
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Message 1948326 - Posted: 7 Aug 2018, 12:19:52 UTC - in response to Message 1948323.  
Last modified: 7 Aug 2018, 12:31:10 UTC

If it can't be ruled out as not coming from an advanced civilization then I would like to know why. Either:

    It contains a message and the right people are not looking at it .
    It is easily explained by cosmic phenomena that we apparently haven't seen before or can't figure out.
    It is a repeating phenomena that is used by the putative civilization to manage their everyday affairs
    It is hype to keep the money flowing in.



Only the third option in my list would still merit any doubt--I would like to read that " the signal has been analyzed by signal processing experts, code breakers, linguists and statisticians and they have found no sign of intentional modulation indicating a sentient intelligence." or most welcome would be the opposite--" we have found non gaussian modulation and are attempting to extract any message from the transmission"

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Message 1948335 - Posted: 7 Aug 2018, 12:53:26 UTC - in response to Message 1948326.  

Alas, even if pro-ufologist supporters have a valid argument (absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence), they face an even more formidable rational and methodological principle: Ockham's razor. And, until further extraordinary proofs and evidence are presented, that's where the energy/ressources chips should fall.

If it can't be ruled out as not coming from an advanced civilization then I would like to know why. Either:

    It contains a message and the right people are not looking at it .
    It is easily explained by cosmic phenomena that we apparently haven't seen before or can't figure out.
    It is a repeating phenomena that is used by the putative civilization to manage their everyday affairs
    It is hype to keep the money flowing in.



Only the third option in my list would still merit any doubt--I would like to read that " the signal has been analyzed by signal processing experts, code breakers, linguists and statisticians and they have found no sign of intentional modulation indicating a sentient intelligence." or most welcome would be the opposite--" we have found non gaussian modulation and are attempting to extract any message from the transmission"


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Message 1948380 - Posted: 7 Aug 2018, 16:00:03 UTC - in response to Message 1948326.  

If it can't be ruled out as not coming from an advanced civilization then I would like to know why. Either:

    It contains a message and the right people are not looking at it .
    It is easily explained by cosmic phenomena that we apparently haven't seen before or can't figure out.
    It is a repeating phenomena that is used by the putative civilization to manage their everyday affairs
    It is hype to keep the money flowing in.



Only the third option in my list would still merit any doubt--I would like to read that " the signal has been analyzed by signal processing experts, code breakers, linguists and statisticians and they have found no sign of intentional modulation indicating a sentient intelligence." or most welcome would be the opposite--" we have found non gaussian modulation and are attempting to extract any message from the transmission"



As far as Fast Radio Bursts are concerned, they can not be readily explained by our current knowledge of the universe. Future knowledge may offer an astrophysical explanation, but this is purely speculative.

At least one Fast Radio Burst has already been observed to repeat itself, which must argue very strongly against the favorite explanations. These involve catastrophic processes associated with one or more 'black holes'.

The Fast Radio Bursts last mere milliseconds. It's doubtful that most radio astronomy observations to date were made with sufficiently short integration times to discern signals contained in the bursts, should they actually be present.

Two scientists have produced a paper suggesting the possibility that the FRBs are energy beams intended to power space vessels.
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Message 1948426 - Posted: 8 Aug 2018, 8:46:31 UTC - in response to Message 1948326.  
Last modified: 8 Aug 2018, 8:49:51 UTC


Only the third option in my list would still merit any doubt--I would like to read that " the signal has been analyzed by signal processing experts, code breakers, linguists and statisticians and they have found no sign of intentional modulation indicating a sentient intelligence." or most welcome would be the opposite--" we have found non gaussian modulation and are attempting to extract any message from the transmission"



But how we can hope to extract any message from a transmission ? We need to suppose the alien sender is an english mathematician ! And if not ? And how we can sure it has been translated to binaries... and made by a radio frenquency modulator ?

i know some are considaring there is only one mathematic (our way to do maths) maybe alien found another way. same as communicating... and transmitting ... and code and decode... etc etc etc...

In middle age we thought we were the center of universe... which was false.
And if alien found other ways ? Other ways to make maths, to binary, to code/decode, to transmit...
Maybe our way to think and our way to make things we thought are still The center of the Universe !

Not because we are doing things our way thats the only way!! There is an obligation of: if there are another civilisation in the universe it cannot be different ^^
Maybe it is false too LOL maybe we arent the Center of the Universe in that category too :)
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Message 1951400 - Posted: 22 Aug 2018, 20:35:29 UTC

The Galaxy Is Soaked with Water-Rich Alien Planets - Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | August 22, 2018
https://www.space.com/41575-alien-planets-water-worlds-common.html

"Water worlds" are incredibly common throughout the Milky Way galaxy, a new study suggests.

Midsize alien planets — those two to four times larger than Earth — tend to harbor huge amounts of water, according to the research. Indeed, some of these exotic worlds are probably up to 50 percent water by weight. (Our seemingly wet Earth, by contrast, is just 0.02 percent water by weight.)

"Our data indicate that about 35 percent of all known exoplanets which are bigger than Earth should be water-rich," study leader Li Zeng, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, said in a statement. "It was a huge surprise to realize that there must be so many water worlds." [Gallery: The Strangest Alien Planets]

Zeng and his colleagues analyzed data gathered by NASA's Kepler space telescope, which has discovered about 70 percent of the 3,800 known exoplanets to date, and the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft.

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Message 1951505 - Posted: 23 Aug 2018, 7:27:08 UTC

Another way to search for biosignatures of alien life—the material blasted out of asteroid impacts
August 22, 2018 by Matt Williams
https://phys.org/news/2018-08-biosignatures-alien-lifethe-material-blasted.html

"By studying the ejecta from an impact event, we could learn something about the geology and habitability of the exoplanet and potentially detect a biosphere. The method is the only way I know to access the subsurface of an exoplanet. In this sense, the impact can be seen as a drilling experiment provided by nature. Our study shows that dust produced in an impact event is in principle detectable, and future telescopes might be able to constrain the composition of the dust, and therefore the composition of the planet."

In the coming decades, astronomers will be studying extra-solar planets with instruments of increasing sensitivity and power in the hopes of finding indications of life. In all likelihood, the ability to discern the presence of biosignatures in debris created by asteroid impacts will coincide with the ability to find them in the atmospheres of exoplanets.

With these two methods combined, scientists will be able to say with greater certainty that distant planets are not only capable of supporting life, but are actively doing so.

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Message 1951764 - Posted: 24 Aug 2018, 8:07:14 UTC

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to Get a $5.8 Million Antenna Upgrade
by Mindy Weisberger, Live Science Senior Writer | August 17, 2018
https://www.space.com/41519-arecibo-observatory-alpaca-antenna-upgrade.html

The National Science Foundation (NSF) just awarded $5.8 million in funding to add a new "supersensitive antenna" to the 1,000-foot (305 meters) telescope dish.

The new antenna, named the Advanced Cryogenic L-band Phased Array Camera for Arecibo (ALPACA), "will increase the telescope’s observation capabilities 500 percent".

While it is a single unit, the device will actually consist of 166 miniature antennas that work in unison to "increase the field of view of the telescope to 40 beams, providing much smoother and continuous coverage of the sky than conventional receivers," UCF officials said.

ALPACA will not replace the telescope's main 96-foot (29 meters) antenna, called the "line feed," which broke off during the hurricane. That antenna still hasn't been repaired, and it could take a couple of years before it's up and running again. Rather, ALPACA will be mounted on the telescope's focal point.

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Message 1952315 - Posted: 27 Aug 2018, 4:11:55 UTC

To Study the Stars, This Town Went Off the Grid
Worlds collide in Green Bank, West Virginia, which sits deep inside a radio-free zone established in 1958.

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