SETI project... Aliens or Bug??????

  JonnyTub 17:45 02 Sep 04

Hi all, i noticed today that the seti project reported that they had 3 signals all purporting to be from an alien source, what i'd like to know is how do they quantify a valid signal?, i'd imagine a non-valid signal to sound random and different from the next, whereas a valid signal to be the opposite???

With the seti project being the biggest collection of computing power (60 teraflops i think) known to man, is it likely there's faulty equipment and bugs in the software, who knows. Also should we really be "reporting" our position via radio signals to the vast unknown as i believe it nieve to think we are the only of our kind in the great expanse known as space.

What are your thoughts?

  GANDALF <|:-)> 18:00 02 Sep 04

It's all hype and noise," said its chief scientist, Dr Dan Wertheimer. "We have nothing that is unusual. It's all out of proportion." click here and that just about sums up the Seti project as well.


  Forum Editor 18:28 02 Sep 04

from another intelligent life form is about as remote as you winning the lottery every week for the rest of your life, and then your son or daughter doing the same thing.

Let's suppose we did receive a signal, and it came from a source that was actually very close, say 100 light years away (in reality we would already know if there was a transmitting source that close). Let's suppose that we answered the signal "Hello, Planet Earth here - where are you?"

Off our transmission would go (we'll assume ideal conditions, and no degradation of signal) and it would take around a century to get there. Back comes the reply "8jkjn //s433& 8888* qqDD" - another century to get here. Several generations have lived and died here on earth but hey, no matter, let's get on with this thrilling conversation . Maybe after 1000 years or so we might know something about these beings, and they would know something about us. Not that it would matter, because we certainly won't be going to see them. Even if we could travel at the speed of light it would take 100 years to get there, and we aren't ever likely to be going at that speed - or even anything approaching it. In reality we just aren't ever going to travel that far, and neither are 'they'.

SETI may be fun, but that's all it is - a bit of fun. I'll leave it to Jodie Foster to do the time warp bit - there are far more interesting things to do and think about here, in the real world.

  Dorsai 18:39 02 Sep 04

How would we know that there was a source that close....may-be they only invented the radio 100 years ago...

How long ago did WE invent the radio?


click here

whats that, 166 years ago....83 years for our signal to get there, and now 83 years later they say..

"we dont have the faintest idea what you are saying, but hay, we heard you..."

a cosmic 'wave across the street'

  Mister Splendid©®™! 19:00 02 Sep 04

Is this the second of September or the first of April?

  Valvegrid 19:06 02 Sep 04

Any ET picking up our previous radio transmissions and had managed to decode them would keep a very low profile indeed rather than getting mixed up with those war-like creatures on earth, who can blame them.

I think we need to take a long hard look at ourselves first before worrying what goes on outside our own four walls.

  Dorsai 19:24 02 Sep 04

we have been broardcasting radio into the cosmos indiscriminatly ever since we started radio broardcasting.

a bit daft perhaps, but we are still doing it.

Perhaps other life forms are doing it too, believing that they are alone, and that, as there is no one to hear, why worry.

i have no idea what it is that SETI has picked up, or what it means, maybe it's SETI's dinner cooking in the microwave downstairs, but to say it's not ET in origin, when we dont know what it is, is putting the cart before the horse.

My money is on the microwave, but that don't mean i am right.

  bertiecharlie 19:38 02 Sep 04

"Even if we could travel at the speed of light it would take 100 years to get there, ...."

Well, theoretically, not strictly correct. For someone travelling at the speed of light, time stops. The only limiting factor is how long it takes his spacecraft to accelerate up to the speed of light, without him being crushed in the process, and how long it takes to decelerate to a stop. (There's not much point in travelling to the source of this mysterious radio signal only to go whizzing past at 186,000 miles a second.)

The time that will have elapsed for the rest of us back on earth is another matter. Now, onto quantum tunneling ....

  Dorsai 20:24 02 Sep 04

But that is another subject.

pulsars send a regular, predictable signal. But it is not a sign of ET, or intelligence.

A signal has been detected.

Some are poo pooing the signal imidiatly.

It can't be from an intelligent origin. Why not?

I keep getting signals on the screen in front of me. Are they from an intelligent origin? I have no proof that they are. I just assume that they are.

But i have no desire to travel to their origin to check, even if i knew where the signal came from, and had the means to get there.

  Mister Splendid©®™! 21:04 02 Sep 04

The person travelling at the speed of light will still perceive the passing of time as normal. From the viewpoint of a stationary observer seeing that person's spaceship pass-by time on the spaceship will appear to have stopped.

  It's Me 21:20 02 Sep 04

It's at this point that some of us start to get a headache trying to think out what you've said and what it means.
I'm sure that I have seen somewhere that even Einstein was not at all sure that his theory was totally correct and that the speed of light might be exceeded; unfortuneately, he lost interest in all this and went onto other things, or so it is said.
I will now retreat behind a wall and hope that I can avoid the slings and arrows.

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