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Author Topic: The Truth is 1,480 LY away?  (Read 10053 times)
schild
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on: October 14, 2015, 11:51:23 PM

Sir T
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Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 12:08:53 AM

T- one week before we declare war on them.

Be principled, but not too principled.
Xuri
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Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 01:25:39 AM

Our declaration of war (if sent by radio waves) will take ~1500 years to reach them. Unless we are subtle about it and don't declare until our fleet of FTL warships is on their doorstep.

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Sky
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Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 05:19:43 AM

T- one week before we declare war on them.

Paelos
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Reply #4 on: October 15, 2015, 05:38:43 AM

Dear space monsters,
We come in peace. We would like to talk to you about your oil reserves.
Earth.

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
Braves by the Numbers, my sports blog
Merusk
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Reply #5 on: October 15, 2015, 05:52:12 AM

Our declaration of war (if sent by radio waves) will take ~1500 years to reach them. Unless we are subtle about it and don't declare until our fleet of FTL warships is on their doorstep.

Don't make the same mistake as Admiral Ozzel.

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01101010
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Reply #6 on: October 15, 2015, 06:34:29 AM

It's a rock... a weird rock that probably collided with the planet and spun off into an orbit along with the debris. Nice to let the imagination run wild though.

"I want to watch it all burn in an orgy of smashed Coke machines and weasel rape." - HaemishM
Shannow
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Reply #7 on: October 15, 2015, 06:39:21 AM


Star Citizen is going to be used to train our future generation of starship pilots who will pilot the ships by remote.

Well, that was the plan at least.

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Yegolev
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Reply #8 on: October 15, 2015, 06:41:24 AM

Dear space monsters,
We come in peace. We would like to talk to you about your oil reserves.
Earth.

BEAT ME TO IT

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Reply #9 on: October 15, 2015, 07:18:02 AM

It's a rock... a weird rock that probably collided with the planet and spun off into an orbit along with the debris. Nice to let the imagination run wild though.



"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #10 on: October 15, 2015, 07:21:11 AM


Ironwood
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Reply #11 on: October 15, 2015, 07:26:11 AM

Double Apostrophe for the lose.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
HaemishM
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Prevent all damage that would be dealt to you and other troops you control.


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Reply #12 on: October 15, 2015, 07:32:02 AM

It's a carefully hidden complex alien structure.

calapine
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Reply #13 on: October 15, 2015, 07:46:45 AM

Well, this is certainly interesting.  smiley


One should point out though that the research paper this article was based on never mentions aliens. On the contrary, right in the abstract it states:

Quote from: Boyajian et al, 2015. KIC 8462852 – Where’s the flux?
By considering the observational constraints on dust clumps orbiting a normal main-sequence star, we conclude that the scenario most consistent with the data in hand is the passage of a family of exocomet fragments, all of which are associated with a single previous breakup event.

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Reply #14 on: October 15, 2015, 07:47:45 AM

What's more believable? Ohhhhh, I see.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Reply #15 on: October 15, 2015, 08:05:13 AM

What's more believable? Ohhhhh, I see.

I think you mean "What will sell more papers?"

Here's a tip to the general public from a scientist: If you see something in the news about a scientific discovery, it's probably inaccurate, over-dramatized, or both.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #16 on: October 15, 2015, 08:16:34 AM

It's a rock... a weird rock that probably collided with the planet and spun off into an orbit along with the debris. Nice to let the imagination run wild though.




Hey, I am fantastic at parties!

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Reply #17 on: October 15, 2015, 08:31:36 AM

 Head scratch

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Sir T
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Reply #18 on: October 15, 2015, 09:16:56 AM

Double Apostrophe for the lose.

It's Alien Grammatics.

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rattran
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Unreasonable


Reply #19 on: October 15, 2015, 04:57:13 PM

We need a double apostrophe alien snake.
MournelitheCalix
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Reply #20 on: October 15, 2015, 07:16:00 PM

It's a rock... a weird rock that probably collided with the planet and spun off into an orbit along with the debris. Nice to let the imagination run wild though.

From what I have read this hypothesis has already been disproven.  The IR Readings show no amplification that is seen when looking at space dust, asteroid collisions or collisions from huge bodies.  Part of the reason this is so exciting is that the readings are also consistent with what would be expected from a dyson sphere. 

How great was our investment in Kepler?  I wonder if Dr. Seth Shostak has repositioned SETI's dishes yet.

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Reply #21 on: October 15, 2015, 07:51:08 PM

It's a rock... a weird rock that probably collided with the planet and spun off into an orbit along with the debris. Nice to let the imagination run wild though.

From what I have read this hypothesis has already been disproven.  The IR Readings show no amplification that is seen when looking at space dust, asteroid collisions or collisions from huge bodies.  Part of the reason this is so exciting is that the readings are also consistent with what would be expected from a dyson sphere. 

How great was our investment in Kepler?  I wonder if Dr. Seth Shostak has repositioned SETI's dishes yet.
Well, a partially constructed Dyson sphere, or some other stellar-scale construction in the liquid water zone. The official publications are very cautious, just laying out the natural cause explanations they have excluded. The fact that the evidence is consistent with certain unnatural explanations they don't even get near. If it is, they'll still be famous, if it isn't they won't join the Cold Fusion guys in the doghouse.

--Dave

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Sky
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Reply #22 on: October 15, 2015, 08:37:14 PM

So that vacuum cleaner dude was an alien? That makes a lot more sense now.

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Reply #23 on: October 15, 2015, 09:26:05 PM

Well, a partially constructed Dyson sphere, or some other stellar-scale construction in the liquid water zone. The official publications are very cautious, just laying out the natural cause explanations they have excluded. The fact that the evidence is consistent with certain unnatural explanations they don't even get near. If it is, they'll still be famous, if it isn't they won't join the Cold Fusion guys in the doghouse.

--Dave

Great point on the dyson sphere, however wouldn't that be exactly what we expected in a sphere that was being constructed?  We wouldn't expect the entire sphere to be built immediately.  I think these guys will be treated a lot better then Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann.  The reason why is that the data appears to be beyond approach and unlike the cold fusion episode, many people have looked at this and we have gotten the confirmation. Even if its not a dyson sphere this is something incredibly unique and something we haven't really seen before.

This might actually be the most important scientific find of our life time.  We need to get another kepler up there, like yesterday.

Born too late to explore the new world.
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Born just in time to see liberty die.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #24 on: October 15, 2015, 11:01:15 PM

Great point on the dyson sphere, however wouldn't that be exactly what we expected in a sphere that was being constructed?  We wouldn't expect the entire sphere to be built immediately.  I think these guys will be treated a lot better then Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann.  The reason why is that the data appears to be beyond approach and unlike the cold fusion episode, many people have looked at this and we have gotten the confirmation. Even if its not a dyson sphere this is something incredibly unique and something we haven't really seen before.

This might actually be the most important scientific find of our life time.  We need to get another kepler up there, like yesterday.

Well, the point is that we wouldn't be able to detect a completed Dyson sphere at this point, it would be radiating in the infrared, well above background but not something we would notice to train the kind of instruments on that would actually see it. There are significant issues with trying to actually construct a full sphere (there does not appear to be enough metals in the solar system to build one by an order or two of magnitude, for example, even if we could strip down the gas giants and hoover up every floating rock), you need mass transmutation, interstellar rock hunting, or a ridiculously metal-rich system. It's unlikely that any species that could build a sphere would *need* one, they'd probably have easier ways of generating stellar-scale energy than gift-wrapping an entire sun.

But you could easily imagine a mature civilization above 1 on the Kardashev scale (IOW, using more than just it's own planet's energy output) that would be flying huge solar arrays (and smaller scale habitats, although 'smaller' in this sense means only planetary-scale), and those could look a lot like this.

It's all speculation, but once you drill through the extremely careful language, you can tell that a lot of the scientists involved are *really* hopeful this is going to turn out to be more than just a new form of natural stellar process.

--Dave

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Ironwood
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Reply #25 on: October 16, 2015, 12:58:10 AM

Personally, I think this is all a trick by the Starflyer.  I ain't going.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
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Reply #26 on: October 16, 2015, 08:26:37 AM

Great point on the dyson sphere, however wouldn't that be exactly what we expected in a sphere that was being constructed?  We wouldn't expect the entire sphere to be built immediately.  I think these guys will be treated a lot better then Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann.  The reason why is that the data appears to be beyond approach and unlike the cold fusion episode, many people have looked at this and we have gotten the confirmation. Even if its not a dyson sphere this is something incredibly unique and something we haven't really seen before.

This might actually be the most important scientific find of our life time.  We need to get another kepler up there, like yesterday.

Well, the point is that we wouldn't be able to detect a completed Dyson sphere at this point, it would be radiating in the infrared, well above background but not something we would notice to train the kind of instruments on that would actually see it. There are significant issues with trying to actually construct a full sphere (there does not appear to be enough metals in the solar system to build one by an order or two of magnitude, for example, even if we could strip down the gas giants and hoover up every floating rock), you need mass transmutation, interstellar rock hunting, or a ridiculously metal-rich system. It's unlikely that any species that could build a sphere would *need* one, they'd probably have easier ways of generating stellar-scale energy than gift-wrapping an entire sun.

But you could easily imagine a mature civilization above 1 on the Kardashev scale (IOW, using more than just it's own planet's energy output) that would be flying huge solar arrays (and smaller scale habitats, although 'smaller' in this sense means only planetary-scale), and those could look a lot like this.

It's all speculation, but once you drill through the extremely careful language, you can tell that a lot of the scientists involved are *really* hopeful this is going to turn out to be more than just a new form of natural stellar process.

--Dave

A literal Dyson Sphere would be physically impossible. It would collapse into the star as only the equatorial band would be travelling at orbital speed and no physically plausible structural material would be capable of supporting an object of that size. Dyson himself only discussed a band of disconnected satellites.
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Reply #27 on: October 16, 2015, 11:23:26 AM

The solar wind would need a place to go, as well.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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Reply #28 on: October 16, 2015, 01:14:14 PM

But... but... there was a Dyson Sphere in an ep of Star Trek TNG!!

AND IT HAD SCOTTY IN IT!!

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Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #29 on: October 16, 2015, 08:02:28 PM

A ringworld seems far more plausible and achievable than a Dyson sphere. Even if some kind of anti-gravity exists and was figured out, could it really somehow require less power than what you gain from the solar radiation you're capturing?  And I haven't done the math, but I'm not even sure there is enough matter in a solar system for a ringworld. That requires solid materials, not gasses, and I seem to vaguely recall Niven's Ringworld was something like a million earths in (inner) surface area.  That would require a lot of rocks, and gas giant material isn't really going to work!

But yeah, I have serious doubts it's aliens, like infinitesimally shy of positive, but the radio telescopes should be able to confirm/eliminate that pretty quickly.  But the universe is such a vast place in both space and time, and the collection of conditions and events that would seem to be required to produce intelligent life are so astronomically unlikely, that I really suspect humanity will never find even evidence of another intelligent species, much less make contact with it.  And if I'm wrong about the odds I really doubt such a discovery will go well for us, and I suspect actual contact would almost have to end up in an existential struggle to eliminate each other. Insatiable greed, selfish ambition, intolerance of the Other, paranoia, mistrust, and a ruthless compulsion to eliminate, dominate or absolutely control anything that might be a threat to us (or even just exploitable to our advantage) seem to be the survival attributes which have propelled us from a few thousand or tens of thousands of animals on the verge of extinction into the dominant species on our planet.

What amazes me is just how much information we are able to learn about places hundreds or thousands of light years away using optical telescopes gathering just a fantastically small number of photons. Planets and atmospheres even, it's amazing. Far from the science fiction visions of just 20 years ago where humanity would send out scout ships into the vast unknown where the only information we had was the age and class of star we were aiming at, it seems more likely that by the time we send the first scout ship to another star, we will already know about all of its planets of any size, their size, gravity, atmospheres, density, possibly even outer composition, temperature range, and whether or not there is carbon-based life on them. But we will have almost no clue what if anything lies between those two islands of light, our sun and the destination star, and amazingly we may actually have a more accurate catalog of all the outer bodies of the far system than we do of our own, even then!

Sadly this universe is such an incredibly deadly place and humans are so fragile and limited to such a narrow protected range of conditions, I suspect that we humans will never actually make it out of our solar system, and only our machine children will be able to survive to get out there to explore the wonders of the great beyond.

Yes, I know I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?
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Reply #30 on: October 17, 2015, 12:13:16 AM

Well dyson spheres are possible so long as you don't require it to be a single connected structure(and you had enough stuff). All it really is is a set of rings, which would be series of satellites orbiting on the same orbital path, all orbiting on different orbital paths. You could probably set up enough orbiting satellites that the resulting structure would be more or less indistinguishable from a sphere. But really the bands would be at different distances and not interacting.
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Reply #31 on: October 17, 2015, 03:50:32 PM

The paper states that its most viable explanation is in and of itself highly implausible (the comet fragment theory).  That's the whole reason the alien theory came to pass, once the paper was examined by other parties.  There is an element of "well, we dont really have a good explanation at all... so may as well toss in the artificially created theory."

A 20% reduction in brightness of a star 1.5 solar masses is a fucking HUGE quantity.  Chalking that up to a sudden breakup is foolish.  Realize, there is next to NOTHING in the data that supports the timeframes needed to produce this particular observation.  Basically, in order for those fragments to be there in the shape and configuration they're in, there would need to be a recent indicator.  There is not.

It could be huge planetary collisions, but the timing is absolutely impecable if they've observed it.  Statistically, it's about as improbable as finding aliens.
Point is, Optical SETI has and does need more funding.  Maybe this will help.

As for radiofrequencies?  Realize, any signal from there will be heavily encoded (just like ours are) and garbled by the distance.  Basically, they'd have to be purposely sending out an easily analyzed signal for us to see it.  The default situation of "listening" to an alien civ is next to impossible with our current state of signal processing.  That said, a LOT of work is being done to improve the odds...  though, it's not work that's easily funded nor sees a lot of people undertake.

Therein lies the rub.  Again, not enough people doing this work.  Not enough money spent on it.  Potentially, the most important find in human history and we spend more on complete nonsense here than we do general SETI research.

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Reply #32 on: October 17, 2015, 04:51:43 PM

Look, I love them shooting around every idea they can think of. The media is just being dumb when they say, "Here's a finding". We have to figure out how to report on hypotheses and possibilities in the right way.
Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #33 on: October 17, 2015, 05:02:12 PM

Look, I love them shooting around every idea they can think of. The media is just being dumb when they say, "Here's a finding". We have to figure out how to report on hypotheses and possibilities in the right way.


I agree, but you do realize that in order to have a completely factual, informative, rational and unbiased debate/discussion on ANYTHING it would require removing not only the media from the process, but all funding parties, people standing to gain or lose prestige, money or work based on the results as well as other special interests, and probably all humans.  So, again, not likely for humanity, but something our machine children may someday achieve.  awesome, for real

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Reply #34 on: October 17, 2015, 05:47:02 PM

Therein lies the rub.  Again, not enough people doing this work.  Not enough money spent on it.  Potentially, the most important find in human history and we spend more on complete nonsense here than we do general SETI research.

That's because so far all of it has been a massive waste of resources.  We have MAYBE one signal from back in the seventies which has never been repeated.  No new tech, no new theories, no other discoveries or anything (except a few odd stellar phenomena like pulsars maybe which might not have been studied as intently).  You could have put all of that money towards determining the color of God's underwear and we'd have basically the same world today.

It's unlikely this time is any different. And what exactly we SHOULD (or can) do if it were aliens is not an easy question to answer, either.
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