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 sticky  Author  Topic: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence  (Read 22766 times)
B J Booth
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xx Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Thread started on: Oct 7th, 2002, 2:20pm »

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SETI is an acronym for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. It is the science of using telescopes, radio and optical, to search the skies for signals from alien civilizations.

The idea of SETI began in 1959 with the publication of a paper in the British journal Nature by Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison. The paper discussed the possibility of the existence of alien civilizations and how we might be able to detect them. Their conclusion was that the easiest method of detection would be radio waves.

Radio waves were chosen because they are capable of traveling the vast distances between stars and can be generated with reasonable amounts of power. We have been sending radio waves out into space for more than sixty years. All of our radio, TV, satellite, and radar signals are currently spreading out throughout the galaxy. Perhaps they've already been detected by someone.

At the same time as Cocconi and Morrison's paper was published a young astronomer named Frank Drake was putting together plans for the first search. The search, named Project Ozma, was conducted in 1960. Over a two week period the stars Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani were scanned for alien signals. No signals were found but the search had begun.

In the 30 years since the initial Ozma search many others have been carried out with more sensitive
equipment, over much longer time frames, observing thousands of other stars. So far no alien signals have
been detected, but we've really only begun to scratch the surface. There are an estimated 100 billion stars in
the Milky Way galaxy alone. To complicate matters further there are millions of frequencies that a signal
could be received on. It may be that we just haven't looked in the right place at the right time yet.

A human being's desire to learn more about himself, and the world around him begs an answer to the question, "Are we alone?" This inquisitiveness is strong
enough to make a man sit alone for hours in the early morning hours with headphones on, monitor in front of him, waiting...watching for that one intelligent response
to his question, "Is anybody listening?"

If that contact comes, what form will it be in? What will they say to us? Some have said we are asking for our own doom by looking for other intelligent civilizations.
Some say that another more intelligent race than ours would advance our technology by light years, cure our illnesses, bring peace to our planet. What would happen if contact occurs? Join in and give us your views here.







« Last Edit: Oct 8th, 2002, 4:09pm by B J Booth » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #1 on: Oct 8th, 2002, 12:46am »

This is a fascinating subject to me. From the early days of TV, I remember the old shows that dealt with the subject of alien contact. I have seen the show with Jodie Foster, Contact about 6 times, I thought it was neat how the aliens encoded the instructions in the video feed.

I wonder if there has already been a signal received, and they are keeping it secret from us.
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #2 on: Oct 9th, 2002, 8:21pm »

A very well written introduction to this topic I must say. This is one of the most fascinating aspects of the whole ET thing. I only wish I knew more about the technical background involved, then I might understand it a little better. Anyhow, I think that we have probably already been contacted, but we won't know about it anytime soon, that's for certain.
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #3 on: Oct 12th, 2002, 3:52pm »

i've been surfing around the net today and looking at some other sites with info about SETI, it seems that almost everywhere I went people all believe that we have already been contacted. so I don't feel so alone anymore.
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #4 on: Oct 12th, 2002, 8:34pm »

When you think about it, almost every week or two we hear new details of something the government did back in the 50s, 60s, and so on. It won't be too long until they will be revealing experiments, and knowledge that the government had in the 90s and the first decade of this century. It only stands to reason that ET contact is one of them.
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #5 on: Oct 13th, 2002, 10:25am »

The movie contact was great until the part where she travelled to the other planet for ne that spoilt the film but there you go the begining was really realistic but from the point she travelled it descended into a hard to believe fantasy. I still enjoyed it though.


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question Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #6 on: Oct 15th, 2002, 5:06pm »

I am one of the many who run Setiathome as my screensaver, and am currently processing my 16th unit of data. The debate about whether we are "digging our own graves" by attempting contact with other species is one that has no clear answer. How can we know what would happen? But if we avoid any possible contact, we may be missing out on technology and other advances that we would otherwise never be able to access...
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #7 on: Oct 20th, 2002, 10:50am »

Yes, you are right, it is a catch-22, and we just won't know until the time comes. I can see both sides of the debate, but the human instinct to search for more knowledge is the element that tips the scales over to the side of trying to make contact.
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #8 on: Oct 23rd, 2002, 4:39pm »

ASTRONAUT NEIL ARMSTRONG SAYS "THERE IS LIFE IN SPACE"


CAPE CANAVERAL -- Astronaut Neil Armstrong says, "Life is out there somewhere." The first human to set foot on a place beyond Earth found an airless, waterless, lifeless moon. Nevertheless, Neil Armstrong is convinced life thrives elsewhere in the cosmos. "We have no proof," said Armstrong, who stepped onto the moon 30 years ago. "But if we extrapolate, based on the best information we have available to us, we have to come to the conclusion that ... other life probably exists out there and perhaps in many places." Two million years after intelligent life emerged on Earth, humans finally have arrived at the moment when science and technology are making possible a systematic search for other life in the universe. During the next 100 years, researchers armed with powerful telescopes, computers and robots could find proof of past or present microbial life in our solar system. And during the next 1,000 years, scientists say, it's no longer pure fantasy to think that the human race could discover and perhaps contact intelligent civilizations on distant worlds. "This is really an incredible time to be living because we've gone from the idea that we're alone on this nice little planet to the idea that anything is possible," said Lou Allamandola, a chemist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

After all, there are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy and an estimated half-trillion galaxies in the universe. "We know there are planets going around other stars, and we know it's likely that some of those planets have the right conditions for life," said Dan Werthimer, a research physicist at the University of California at Berkeley. "So it would be really bizarre if we were the only ones. It's much more likely that the universe is teeming with life." If that's the case, the discovery would revolutionize our perception of who we are, where we came from and what our place is in the cosmos," snip Thanks to the Detroit News 21/10/2.



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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #9 on: Oct 29th, 2002, 1:57pm »

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Explanation: No one knows for sure what caused this signal. There is a slight possibility that it just might originate from an extraterrestrial intelligence. The bright colors on the blue background indicate that an anomalous signal was received here on Earth by a radio telescope involved in a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). A search for these signals is ongoing by several groups including volunteer members of the SETI League. Time labels the vertical axis of the above plot, and frequency marks the horizontal axis. Although this strong signal was never positively identified, astronomers have identified in it many attributes characteristic of a more mundane and ultimately terrestrial origin. In this case, a leading possibility is that the signal originates from an unusual modulation between a GPS satellite and an unidentified Earth-based source. Many unusual signals from space remain unidentified. No signal has yet been strong enough or run long enough to be unambiguously identified as originating from an extraterrestrial intelligence.
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #10 on: Oct 29th, 2002, 4:12pm »

Hey, thanks for putting this here. This is the so-called "Big Wow, " I have a documentary video on this at

http://bjbooth.topcities.com/videos.html
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #11 on: Oct 29th, 2002, 8:26pm »

Thanks for the video link, great site. grin
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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #12 on: Oct 30th, 2002, 11:13am »

It's a shame they couldn't find where the big wow came from sad


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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #13 on: Oct 30th, 2002, 11:32am »

Okay Guys remember the "WOW" Signal in August of 77' if you are not familiar with it here is some info...

The Wow! Signal


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On August 15, 1977 the Ohio State Radio Observatory detected the most promising extraterrestrial cadidate signal to date. The so-called "Wow!" signal received its name from the note written in the margin of the computer printout by Dr. Jerry Ehman. The signal rises about 15 dB above the mean background noise, in a single channel. The actual symbols (shown in the printout below) are a time series representation of the signal amplitude, as received by the Big Ear radiotelescope. The symbols (6EQUJ5) represent the number of standard deviations by which the received signal exceeds the average background noise, on a scale of 0 to 35. For example, a "0" means no stronger than background noise, a "1" is one sigma above the noise level, a "9" means nine sigma above the background level, an "A" would be ten sigma, and a "U" (the strongest peak of the Wow! signal) is 30 standard deviations above the mean background level.

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An analysis of the Wow! signal indicates that its source was moving with the background stars. From its Doppler shift signature, terrestrial interference, aircraft, and spacecraft can be ruled out as possible origins of the signal. The antenna coordinates indicated that the signal was coming from no known nearby solar-type stars. The only condition required for a SETI signal not met was that of repeatability. However, since the Ohio State Big Ear radiotelescope has an extemely narror beamwidth, viewing just one part in a million of the sky at any given time, one would not expect the signal to repeat. Assuming the Wow! signal is a typical SETI-like transmission, then we can expect valid SETI hits to be very strong, high intermittent signals which appear once (as the transit beam sweeps past Earth), and never repeat again.

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xx Re: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
« Reply #14 on: Nov 9th, 2002, 04:28am »

Now listen to the Rocketman about the big Wow!. I think this is just like anything else, if they had received signals, how would we know about it anyway? They maybe carrying on a conversation with them now.
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