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Author Topic: The Truth is 1,480 LY away?  (Read 10058 times)
Ghambit
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Reply #35 on: October 17, 2015, 06:08:02 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.

Massive waste of resources?  Don't be daft.  The signal processing and data-wrangling advances alone have been worth the effort.  This is the way science works.  Most times, you take a mundane if not completely useless proposal and turn it into something worthwhile, yet less glamorous.  That's just the way it works.

Realize, Kepler itself barely happened and was minimally engineered.  People thought it was silly also.  Now it's up there with Hubble as being one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built by man. 


"See, the beauty of webgames is that I can play them on my phone while I'm plowing your mom."  -Samwise
Kail
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Reply #36 on: October 17, 2015, 06:25:38 PM

Massive waste of resources?  Don't be daft.  The signal processing and data-wrangling advances alone have been worth the effort.  This is the way science works.  Most times, you take a mundane if not completely useless proposal and turn it into something worthwhile, yet less glamorous.  That's just the way it works.

Realize, Kepler itself barely happened and was minimally engineered.  People thought it was silly also.  Now it's up there with Hubble as being one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built by man. 

There are some spin-off benefits to doing any science, sure.  But I have strong doubts that funding the search for extra terrestrial life was more beneficial to the field of signal processing than funding research in to signal processing itself would have been.
schild
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Reply #37 on: October 17, 2015, 06:28:19 PM

I want it to be aliens for a completely non-science related reason.

I want to watch religion implode on itself.
Merusk
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Reply #38 on: October 17, 2015, 06:31:02 PM

That'd be a good one.

But until we saw they weren't human religion would simply explain that those are other Humans, separated from us for "reasons."

Or simply that, "Man was chosen to be superior. Those Godless aliens weren't chosen and God doesn't love them like he does us. That's why they're not here on Earth which is awesome."

I can't get past the panties - Alluvian
I really like the cocks. - Lantyssa
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Nebu
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Reply #39 on: October 17, 2015, 06:31:11 PM

I want to watch religion implode on itself.

Like aliens would make that happen.  People are so invested in their belief in sky cake that NOTHING will change their beliefs ever.

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

-  Mark Twain
schild
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Reply #40 on: October 17, 2015, 06:34:25 PM

The problem with both of your responses is you're applying this sort of down-home-country-bred-tornado-baked trailer trash argument to religion.

Aliens flies in the face of creation myth. While Cletus may still believe in skygod, aliens would signal the end of human-focused religion though it may take a bit of time.
Nebu
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Reply #41 on: October 17, 2015, 06:37:27 PM

The problem with both of your responses is you're applying this sort of down-home-country-bred-tornado-baked trailer trash argument to religion.

Yeah... that's it.  swamp poop

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

-  Mark Twain
Merusk
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Reply #42 on: October 17, 2015, 06:46:05 PM

 why so serious?

Sure thing, city-boy. Once again your steely-eyed clarity of thought has seen through things rather than made you a condescending dick about something he doesn't deal with.

Science flies in the face of the creation myth. What do we have? People who legitimately believe that fossils are tools of Satan or that the Flintstones was a documentary. The goddamn Creation Museum is a thing. People don't just go there as a lark, they go their out of absolute belief that it's true.

Little green men won't change that belief system at all. Create some more offshoots? Sure. It won't, however, make a human-centric view go away at all. Minimize it? Perhaps, but not until there's actual aliens on this planet.

The mistake every sci-fi movie has ever made is believing that enough evidence would do away with religion. It's as likely as praying away the gays.

I can't get past the panties - Alluvian
I really like the cocks. - Lantyssa
People rarely believe just how good I am at sucking. - Lantyssa
I love the swinging dongs - Signe
schild
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Reply #43 on: October 17, 2015, 06:54:07 PM

It stands to reason within our lifetime or our kid's lifetimes, we'll get the answer as to which one of us is right. But to think that aliens wouldn't pave the way for putting a fork in modern religion is shortsightedness at best.

Religion over the last 40 years has been praying away itself. Hell, we can see it in presidential polls. There was a time when absolutely no one would vote for an atheist, and now we're seeing greater-than-majority penetration (58% I believe the last one was).

Besides, once organized religion is the minority there are other less peaceful solutions to dropping that baby on its head. (this is as reasonable a comment as your sci-fi movie example -_-)
Ghambit
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Reply #44 on: October 17, 2015, 09:51:13 PM

Rather well-to-do and funded phDs have already theorized that within 50yrs the predominant faith will be non-denominational.  People do not really go to church/temple anymore... they're bleeding members exponentially faster than history has at any point. 

Aliens would just speed up the inevitable process.

"See, the beauty of webgames is that I can play them on my phone while I'm plowing your mom."  -Samwise
Sir T
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Reply #45 on: October 18, 2015, 02:18:28 AM

I want it to be aliens for a completely non-science related reason.

I want to watch religion implode on itself.

You will be disappointed. The Jesuits run half of the worlds observatories and they (and the wider Catholic Church) have been operating under the assumption that Extraterrestrial Aliens exist for decades. The fundies might lose their shit but no-one else will blink.

http://m.christianpost.com/news/vatican-astronomer-says-alien-life-will-be-discovered-but-will-not-prove-or-disprove-god-126813/

Pope Francis mentioned Alien lifeforms in one of his sermons in may 2014 http://m.christianpost.com/news/pope-francis-talks-about-aliens-says-he-would-welcome-martians-to-receive-baptism-119630/

Hell St Augustine was writing that Genesis was an allegory for events that humans cant understand back in the 4th century. The Idea that the Bible is Symbolic is not a new idea at all.

So it wont destroy Religion, or at least not Catholicism. Sorry.

Be principled, but not too principled.
ezrast
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Reply #46 on: October 18, 2015, 02:39:05 AM

What damage could aliens do that dinosaurs haven't done already?
Sir T
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Reply #47 on: October 18, 2015, 02:41:27 AM

Laser damage. Unless you have Tyrannosaurus with frigging laser beams.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 04:19:58 AM by Sir T »

Be principled, but not too principled.
Yegolev
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Reply #48 on: October 19, 2015, 06:03:37 AM

Laser damage.

This is very funny and makes me consider reading more of your posts.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
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Surlyboi
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Reply #49 on: October 19, 2015, 09:10:52 AM

[ ] Not rekt
[ ] Rekt
  • Tyrannosaurus Rekt

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
schild
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Reply #50 on: October 19, 2015, 09:18:00 AM

It doesn't change my opinion because it's kinda a space joke and Sir T, if anything, is a space man.
IainC
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Reply #51 on: October 19, 2015, 09:44:18 AM

This is very funny and makes me consider reading more of your posts.

Let's not get carried away now.

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

SerialForeigner Photography.
Sir T
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Reply #52 on: October 20, 2015, 04:16:17 AM

This is very funny and makes me consider reading more of your posts.

 ACK! You better see a doc about that concussion  ACK!

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Yegolev
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Reply #53 on: October 20, 2015, 05:53:58 AM

The moment has passed.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
jgsugden
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Reply #54 on: October 20, 2015, 02:27:25 PM

You can't crush blind faith.  The final argument, when all else fails, is that the scientific record (carbon dating, etc...) that predates man was just created to look that way - either as a test of faith, as a trick of the Devil, or whatever.  God works in mysterious ways...?  After all, there is so much evidence that contradicts the basis of most religions now - why would a bit more make a difference?

I miss Good Eats.  *Sniff*
Morat20
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Reply #55 on: October 21, 2015, 02:18:51 PM

Massive waste of resources?  Don't be daft.  The signal processing and data-wrangling advances alone have been worth the effort.  This is the way science works.  Most times, you take a mundane if not completely useless proposal and turn it into something worthwhile, yet less glamorous.  That's just the way it works.

Realize, Kepler itself barely happened and was minimally engineered.  People thought it was silly also.  Now it's up there with Hubble as being one of the most productive scientific instruments ever built by man. 

There are some spin-off benefits to doing any science, sure.  But I have strong doubts that funding the search for extra terrestrial life was more beneficial to the field of signal processing than funding research in to signal processing itself would have been.
SETI processes already collected data. They didn't build telescopes or even point them (I think they run maybe one or two arrays, one of which they closed). Radio telescopes generate really, really, really useful data. SETI just does a ton of mathematical processing in certain areas, looking for certain things. I think they've occasionally produced some hardware add to existing telescopes, which collected data wherever the owners of said telescope pointed.

Their biggest investment in the last few decades was setting up distributed computing systems (SETI@home) but again, their funding is ridiculously tiny overall (and the success of their distributed computing system led to stuff like BOINC) and literally 99.9% of what they do is doing math to someone else's data. (Which itself is fairly useful, as it can identify stuff that isn't aliens too).

SETI's basically funded by donations (it's last government support was ended in 1993, and was something like 0.1% of NASA's budget), and now runs on a budget of about 2.5 million a year. Not exactly a "lot of money", insofar as it's about half the cost of a Predator drone.
brellium
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Reply #56 on: October 23, 2015, 09:09:40 PM

Worthless link deleted. - schild
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 05:27:29 PM by schild »

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MournelitheCalix
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Reply #57 on: October 25, 2015, 09:40:33 PM

SETI processes already collected data. They didn't build telescopes or even point them (I think they run maybe one or two arrays, one of which they closed). Radio telescopes generate really, really, really useful data.

I admit my ignorance here.  What kind of data are we expecting SETI to come up with?   It was my understanding of SETI that it was built to look for signals in radio waves.   I have been thinking about this in light of the news that Seth Shostack has aligned the Allen array towards the star in question.  The more I think about it, it seems to be to be a bit of a stretch to expect that a civilization 1482 years ahead of us and a potentially type two or three civilization would be sending information via radio waves.   So I ask because I do admit my own ignorance on this subject, how is it very useful exactly especially if they don't use radio waves to transmit data.

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Born too early to explore the universe.
Born just in time to see liberty die.
Cyrrex
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Reply #58 on: October 26, 2015, 01:05:24 AM

If we ever discover aliens, modern christian churches would just see it as another tribe of godless aboriginals in need of converting.

Never, ever assume someone that short and fat has their shit together. - Schild
Morat20
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Reply #59 on: October 26, 2015, 06:48:59 PM

SETI processes already collected data. They didn't build telescopes or even point them (I think they run maybe one or two arrays, one of which they closed). Radio telescopes generate really, really, really useful data.

I admit my ignorance here.  What kind of data are we expecting SETI to come up with?   It was my understanding of SETI that it was built to look for signals in radio waves.   I have been thinking about this in light of the news that Seth Shostack has aligned the Allen array towards the star in question.  The more I think about it, it seems to be to be a bit of a stretch to expect that a civilization 1482 years ahead of us and a potentially type two or three civilization would be sending information via radio waves.   So I ask because I do admit my own ignorance on this subject, how is it very useful exactly especially if they don't use radio waves to transmit data.
Stars generate radio waves. So do black holes, pulsars, galaxies....heck, it's how they discovered the CMB in the first place. It's just part of the EM spectrum (a rather big part, actually). They do all sorts of nifty tricks with it, and get really good resolutions and have discovered all sorts of interesting stuff. They do everything from measuring the sun to studying star formation with the things.

"Oh hey, an alien civilization might be leaking radio waves" is just a "Eh, maybe." It's not any more work to collect it, the work is all in the statistical analysis to dig it out of the data. (Which generally does discover other things, as it turns out most weird signals ARE something. Like we discovered the first pulsar because a radio telescope found a very clear, repeating pattern in the radio spectrum).

Telescopes all do the same thing -- they gather chunks of the EM spectrum and study it. Some stuff's easier than others through atmosphere. "Radio telescope" does not generally study the ham radio bands, for instance. :)

This thing here? They're thinking it's not big chunks of rock and debris because it's not radiating enough infrared -- there should be scatter that's not there.

So all those radio telescopes are out there gathering data on stars, galaxies, pulsars, a million things. SETI, by and large, just grabs chunks of data in a few bands they considered likely areas to find intelligent life cluttering it up, and analyze that. And the array they run does the same sorts of things -- whatever they're studying, they tend to share the data with anyone else studying that particular chunk of sky.
Ghambit
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Reply #60 on: October 26, 2015, 07:17:25 PM

What they're listening for is purposeful transmissions that say "Hai guys!"  That's the only way they will find anything with radio-SETI.  It's really a fool's errand that plies hope on an alien species purposely transmitting at those frequencies in a particular way.  All other "ambient" alien transmissions will show up as noise.  

This is part of the reason Kepler was devised in the first place.  Scour closer to optical wavelengths and learn to look for anomalies.

Now, the tech. at the VLA may be different than what the ATA is doing.  As said, the key is how the data is parsed and crunched... maybe they have a better algorithm, who knows.  I do know, whoever learns how to pick sense out of the cosmic background to the point of actually being able to "listen" to planets is an instant Nobel laureate.

Sidenote:  SETI is also a small reason why gravity waves are so en vogue right now.  If you can see them, then that means just maybe cultures are using it for comms.  It's way easier to deal with a gravity signal, assuming you can see it in the first place.  e.g. the tougher the signal is to produce, the easier it is to pick up (if you have the tech.)

edit: I'm not a believer in Fermi's Paradox for the simple reason that it's more likely the Universe is a complete maelstrom of EM transmissions from countless intelligent species.  It's not a paradox, because the more noise in the 'verse there is, the more it seems like we're alone.  If there was one single hyper-intelligent species purposely transmitting in a sea of silence... we'd have found them by now.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 07:21:57 PM by Ghambit »

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Morat20
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Reply #61 on: October 27, 2015, 08:40:29 PM

One of the real problems for SETI is that the more advanced we get, the quieter we get. Even if we had colonies all over the solar system, we'd be aiming narrow signals not shouting across the sky.

And assuming someone can figure out how to cheat Einstein and make workable FTL, then it's certainly quicker to send messages via Pony Express (or, if possible, beamed through whatever FTL cheat) which means we couldn't hear it unless we learned how to cheat ourselves.

There's probably, assuming we're representative of the tech curve, maybe a hundred years or so where a planet radiates enough noise to be picked up even a couple hundred LY away. After that, we tamp down.

Now Dyson collectors, well -- that's something that might actually be built. Just tons and tons of big honking solar collectors. Doesn't need unobtanium to build, either. Just a lot of mass and a self-replicating factory.
MournelitheCalix
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Reply #62 on: October 27, 2015, 09:56:56 PM

Telescopes all do the same thing -- they gather chunks of the EM spectrum and study it. Some stuff's easier than others through atmosphere. "Radio telescope" does not generally study the ham radio bands, for instance. :)

This thing here? They're thinking it's not big chunks of rock and debris because it's not radiating enough infrared -- there should be scatter that's not there.

So all those radio telescopes are out there gathering data on stars, galaxies, pulsars, a million things. SETI, by and large, just grabs chunks of data in a few bands they considered likely areas to find intelligent life cluttering it up, and analyze that. And the array they run does the same sorts of things -- whatever they're studying, they tend to share the data with anyone else studying that particular chunk of sky.

Dr. Seth Shostack of SETI did an interview on the 26th, and he indicated that what they are looking for is noise above the normal background  with the Allen Array.  He is also using an array in Peru to look for pulsing light.  He said he should have data up for analysis in 11 days (11/7/15).
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 09:59:40 PM by MournelitheCalix »

Born too late to explore the new world.
Born too early to explore the universe.
Born just in time to see liberty die.
Kail
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Reply #63 on: November 25, 2015, 04:24:24 PM

NASA thinks it's comets, apparently

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4777

Quote
But, like WISE, Spitzer did not find any significant excess of infrared light from warm dust. That makes theories of rocky smashups very unlikely, and favors the idea that cold comets are responsible. It's possible that a family of comets is traveling on a very long, eccentric orbit around the star. At the head of the pack would be a very large comet, which would have blocked the star's light in 2011, as noted by Kepler. Later, in 2013, the rest of the comet family, a band of varied fragments lagging behind, would have passed in front of the star and again blocked its light.
Ironwood
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Reply #64 on: November 25, 2015, 04:25:36 PM

That's a crap explanation.  Boring.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Ghambit
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Reply #65 on: November 25, 2015, 09:17:39 PM

Comets.   Blocked 20% of the light?  There's some missing data somewhere in that explanation.  I don't feel like parsing through it to find out though.

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Teleku
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Reply #66 on: November 26, 2015, 12:51:18 AM

At least they didn't blame it on swamp gas.   why so serious?

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Morat20
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Reply #67 on: November 28, 2015, 05:32:17 PM

Comets.   Blocked 20% of the light?  There's some missing data somewhere in that explanation.  I don't feel like parsing through it to find out though.
Big-ass swarm of comets? Perfect angle? Probably something like that.  A Van Neumann swarm would be awesome, but incredibly terrifying given how close it is...
penfold
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Reply #68 on: November 28, 2015, 06:31:07 PM

Eggs. Its a hatchery.
Ironwood
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Reply #69 on: November 29, 2015, 01:25:07 PM

Spawn more Overlords.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
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