Posts by Sparrow45

1) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Oumuamua (Message 1903513)
Posted 29 Nov 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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"We are a scientific project, we don't react to tabloid hysteria.
We know what we are doing and why we do it." -- Chris S

Amen! Not to mention that we don't have surplus resources to use on stupid stuff like this.
2) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Don't know where it should go? Stick it here! Part V (Message 1872875)
Posted 14 Jun 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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They probably don't, but this wasn't American Airlines. The responders worked for Alina Medical, and I expect they were more concerned with trying to save her than with her state of dress. Paramedics get my vote every time. Their jobs are difficult both emotionally and physically, often dangerous, and generally thankless. They are true heroes.
3) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1840634)
Posted 7 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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A lot of these new propulsion ideas sound great until they get to the end of the description where they mention in passing that it would need to harness the energy of a star to make it go anywhere. No time soon I presume.


I agree, Bob. Knowing that some sort of "warp drive" is theoretically possible doesn't help very much if you need the power of a galaxy to make it work. But two drive schemes are, in fact, quite possible. Neither is FTL, but still great leaps forward. One is an ion drive, and the other is the aforementioned "nuclear pulse" drive, i.e. the Project Orion idea. The beauty of the last is that the more massive the ship is, the better the ride will be. Abandoning this concept was, IMHO, utterly stupid. The spacecraft could be assembled in low earth orbit, with international buy-in, and incorporate some other form of propulsion, as well. Remember that radiation is space isn't really a problem, as long as the ship is adequately shielded. There's an interesting fictional treatment of this idea in the Niven-Pournelle novel "Footfall". [url] https://www.amazon.com/Footfall-Larry-Niven/dp/0345323440[/url]
4) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1840245)
Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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I don't question your sanity, and I think we in SETI@Home are probably one of the more accepting groups when it comes to UFO reports or discussions because we do, as you rightly point out, obviously believe in the likelihood or at least the possibility of other technical civilizations. But I think most of us have some grounding in science, and science is by nature skeptical. I would say it's entirely possible that some UFOs are indeed alien spacecraft. But there's no way to test that idea or investigate further, because the don't talk to us or stick around to be examined. As ever, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and we don't have any.

I agree with you that silent operation proves nothing either way. If some of these are spacecraft, they are operating with drives we don't begin to understand. As far as I know, radar doesn't have much luck picking these things up. So silent operation, at least a subsonic speeds, doesn't seem much of a stretch.
5) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839826)
Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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Meat--I love it! :)
6) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839824)
Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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... I have to say that I am very sceptical about flying saucers. If they were as prolific as people suggest some time in the last 100 years one would have crashed somewhere (not Roswell!!) and been reverse engineered making mankind a lot further advanced than we are now.

... I think that if UFO's exist they are likely to be remote controlled drones of some kind, ...I have no real answer to anal probes and cattle mutilations, other than to say that if they have interplanetary travel nailed down and even interstellar travel, then they would not need to be so crude to find out more about us. They would use whole body MRI scanners or more likely Bones diagnostic couches in Enterprise sick bay, maybe even what the Doctor used as a handheld in USS Voyager. ...


I'm trying to imagine how far engineers and physicists from 1900 would get if they tried to reverse-engineer an iPhone or a laptop computer. Not very far, I think. To paraphrase Robert Heinlein, you can't build a railroad until it's time to railroad. You need the materials science and manufacturing infrastructure, not just knowledge of the tech. (And FWIW, no, I don't think the Roswell incident was a UFO crash, but it's fun to believe that!) And I agree that probes and crude dissections in the field aren't the way to study any sort of biology. Never mind the possibility of earning a lot of ill will from your subjects.
7) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839730)
Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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On the topic of UFO behavior, there's a short story titled "Those Eyes" by David Brin. The whole thing can be read here: http://www.davidbrin.com/fiction/thoseeyes.html

The central idea is that UFOs are actually manifestations of the fey....faeries. They've been driven from earth by our (human's) lack of belief and technology, and now reside on the moon. The UFO activity is just their way of carrying on with doing what they've always done. Do I actually believe this? Of course not. But it's at least a coherent explanation for UFO behavior.
8) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839724)
Posted 3 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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Reply to Sparrow45:

The elusive demonstration of their presence could be part of a very prudent plan, on the part of advanced extraterrestrials. Swooping in and revealing themselves all at once could prove very disruptive, and demoralizing to human beings.

A gradual revealing of their existence would allow time for us to grow used to the idea that we are not the only, or the most technically advanced form of intelligent life on the scene.

It seems quite obvious to me that there are many humans who still reflexively fear others, even of their own species. How much more, then, would they fear the sudden advent of beings greatly different from themselves in appearance, and possessing superior technical powers?


Perhaps this could be the case. We certainly know how awful the consequences of contact between disparate cultures can be just within our own species. Our attitudes about ET have changed over the last century or so. Some of us are actively looking for contact. The notion of alien life has become pandemic in popular culture. I doubt there's one person in 100, in the developed world at least, who would outright disregard the possibility of extraterrestrial life. If ET is doing a "gradual reveal" then my advice would be to pick up the pace a little. Overt contact and providing some information isn't the same as opening the flood gates to galactic culture. They could at least explain themselves. In fact, I'd say respect demands that much. Just driving through the neighborhood and staring out the car windows is pretty demeaning.
9) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839645)
Posted 2 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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Let's assume that some significant portion of sightings are, indeed, alien spacecraft. What are they doing? They don't care if we see them, obviously. But just as obviously, they don't want to talk to us. And if we include alien abductions and cattle mutations in this class of the "real thing", then we can't assume they're entirely benign or friendly. If they wanted to simply observe us, they could do that much more covertly. So again....What are they doing? They act like they're driving through a slum with the windows rolled up and the doors locked, taking a tour of the bad part of town. It really doesn't make much sense. But of course, the thing about aliens is that they're alien. So who knows?
10) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839285)
Posted 1 Jan 2017 by Profile Sparrow45
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There is one thing that has not been mentioned by anyone. All of the posts, including mine, till now, have never mentioned ONE interesting thing and that is "Flying Saucers."


I never know what to do with the UFO question, for the simple reason that there's nothing except a lot of anecdotal reports. Yes, many are from very credible people. A few are from people I know personally, and I don't doubt that they saw what they say they saw. But observation doesn't equal explanation. So maybe we're being visited or observed, or teased, but where can we take that? We can only speculate and try to sort out hoaxes and swamp gas. It's a dead-end issue, in a sense. I'm not a skeptic necessarily. I just don't think sightings inform us very much.
11) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1839194)
Posted 31 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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The scientific consensus is reported to be that there are billions or tens of billions of habitable planets in our galaxy. This would indicate that they are much, much nearer one another than you suggest.


Perhaps. But let's remember that probability doesn't determine individual cases. If the "average" distance between habitable planets, however we chose to define them, is X, that doesn't preclude the possibility that the closest one to us is 3X, 5X, or 100X. We don't know that life evolves on every possible planet, or how often life my evolve into complex life, let alone technical civilizations.

We seem to be veering into a discussion of the so-called Fermi Paradox, and there's a Wiki entry that gives a good rundown of the many possible explanations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox
12) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Asteroids & Comets (Message 1839122)
Posted 31 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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Hawking is also afraid of artificial intelligence and of being discovered by hostile aliens. Maybe he is afraid of too many things, People live in New Zealand despite earthquakes, and on the slopes of Vesuvius despite the danger of a catastrophic eruption. We are always in danger.
Tullio

M. Hawking, like all the rest of us, has to cope with the knowledge of his own mortality and I suspect that whether we realize it or not, this is the most difficult struggle each of us faces in life. When we fail to handle this struggle well, things can get a little weird. As a species, we like to think humans can go on indefinitely, and perhaps we may last a very long time. Or not. I think the answer is to live wisely and well, and take what precautions are possible. But our track record as a species isn't too good.
13) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Word Link # 91 (Message 1839115)
Posted 31 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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Intelligent
14) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1838874)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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Well said, kind Sir. :) Shall we cross our fingers, and maybe toes? :)

Probably. But hey, look at it this way...
"Captain Yugi Nagata: We're going to die!
Alex Hopper: We are going to die. You're going to die, I'm going to die, we're all going to die... just not today."
(from the film Battleship)

Happy New Year back! :)
15) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Do you think aliens use radio waves to communicate with each other? (Message 1838863)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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My thought is that radio waves only travel as fast as light...What kinds of scientific concepts that we know of today could be used to bypass this light speed limit? Perhaps a 'quantum radio' of sorts or some kind of 'wormhole telephone'. If we do find a signal, especially if it's from this kind of civilization what would that mean? Could it serve as some kind of beacon to find intelligent life such as ourselves? Or perhaps some kind of stellar lighthouse, either trying to get us to say hi back, to get us to travel to it in order to establish contact, or some sort of cryptic signal warning us of a dangerous predatory civilization seeking to find and extinguish its future 'competition', or worse still, a message warning not to send radio signals into space due to some extraterrestrial danger. Though I like to think a little more optimistically about it. What are your thoughts on this?


I think there's a very good chance there's some sort of "hyperwave" or "fat line" FTL, and there may be advanced civilizations chatting away in real time. But right now, we're in the same position American and other colonists were hundreds of years ago, when a physical letter traveling by sailing ship was the only choice. And I say we should look for radio signals, because it's the best we can do. Here's an interesting article: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/about-us/137-physics/general-physics/particles-and-quantum-physics/810-does-quantum-entanglement-imply-faster-than-light-communication-intermediate

Is it wise to light a beacon? I'd say all your answers are possible. But we lit the beacon the moment we transmitted at any frequency high enough to penetrate the ionosphere into space, so it's been lit at least since the first TV transmission in the 1930's. I guess we'll find out if it was a good idea, or if it matters at all.
16) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : When will Betelgeuse explode (Message 1838829)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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Here's an interesting article on recent research into the effects of past supernovae nearby, and effects on earth.
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2016/jul/18/nearby-supernovae-could-have-affected-life-on-earth
17) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Science In Vintage SF (Message 1838826)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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It seems that twin planets could orbit one another stably, under certain circumstances. They would eventually become mutually tidally locked, the same sides always facing each other, like Pluto and its moon Charon. This would cancel out any changing tidal effects.

Thank you, Michael. Very interesting article. And yes, I wondered about tidal lock, too. Not to criticize Brin (SF is fiction, after all) but I don't believe the planets in his story were locked.
18) Message boards : Cafe SETI : OH, Hello again.......I am back for a while. (Message 1838731)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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I appreciate your pain. My heart goes out to you.
I can't fix it, but I will bear witness.
19) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Your favorite tv shows 2016 (Message 1838722)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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1. House of Cards
2. Man in the High Castle
3. Animal Kingdom
20) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Science In Vintage SF (Message 1838703)
Posted 30 Dec 2016 by Profile Sparrow45
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I've started trying to dispose of the boxes of books I have stashed around the house. This, of course, leads to re-reading. In a David Brin story from the 1980's he depicts a double planet with both of the planets being earth-like. That is, the planets are orbiting each other while orbiting their parent star. I'm wondering if such a system is possible. Could it be stable? In his story, Brin depicts both planets as evolving intelligent life.

I understand that Earth-Luna "almost" qualifies as a double planet, but for the fact that the gravitational center of the orbit lies inside the volume of the earth. And in Brin's scenario, tidal effects on both bodies would presumably be spectacular.

Any thoughts?


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