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Pulsars proof of ET existence?

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posted on May, 6 2006 @ 03:13 AM
When the first pulsar was discovered at Jodrell Bank in the sixties, it was named "LGM-1", the acronym meaning "little green men". It was, at first, thought to be the sign that there was intelligent life in the universe. But scientific caution meant that, before the publication of a paper on the discovery in Nature, an alternative physical hypothesis was constructed, giving the picture we currently have of a rapidly rotating collapsed star emitting radiation like a lighthouse.

The trouble with that interpretation is that as data piles up, it begins to look less supportable. Pulsars are far more precise than any other object in the universe:

First discovered by radio astronomers at Cambridge, pulsars make exceptional clocks, which enable a number of unique astronomical experiments. Some very old pulsars, which have been "spun up" to speeds of over 600 rotations per second by material flowing onto them from a companion star, appear to be rotating so smoothly that they may be even "keep time" more accurately than the best atomic clocks here on Earth.

Some plantets have been detected orbiting pulsars. They have incredibly circular orbits. The pulsars themselves are very regular:

``This star departs from being a perfect sphere by only 0.1 mm in 20 km. On Earth this would mean that no mountain could be higher than 3 cm!''

There are many highly strange characteristics about pulsar signals. These are always interpreted in terms of the rotating neutron star model and are making it increasingly untenable. Here's one for starters:

Astronomers know from other long-term observations, mostly done at Jodrell Bank, that a pulsar is made up largely of a neutron superfluid, with a solid crust. Current theories predict that the interaction between the superfluid and the crust should cause any precession to die out extremely quickly. ``But this pulsar is one hundred thousand years old, and it's still wobbling!'' exclaims Lyne. ``We really don't understand how this precession can be happening, and theorists are going to have to do some work to explain it,'' adds Stairs.

The source also gives the conventional explanation for the formation of pulsars:

Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars emitting radio waves. They are the collapsed cores of supergiant stars that have been exploded as supernovae.
The trouble with that is that the debris associated with supernovae is nowhere to be seen in most of the discovered pulsars and astronomers don't even seem to notice this anomaly. It is entirely possible (and statistically more likely) that pulsars have nothing to do with the supernovae remnants in which they are seen. It's just that they were discovered there first, and assumed to be connected with supernovae, an assumption that continues despite evidence to the contrary.

Some pulsars actually switch off from time to time:

From Wikepedia:
PSR B1931+24 "... appears as a normal pulsar for about a week and then 'switches off' for about one month before emitting pulses again. [..] this pulsar slows down more rapidly when the pulsar is on than when it is off. [.. the] breaking mechanism must be related to the radio emission and the processes creating it and the additional slow-down can be explained by a wind of particles leaving the pulsar's magnetosphere and carrying away rotational energy.
and there are other anomalous characteristics of pulsar signals. If millisecond pulsars are to fit in with the conventional model, they must be tiny to avoid the surface at the equator rotating at near lightspeed: PSR J1748-2446ad is the fastest known spinning pulsar, at 716 Hz, the period being 0.00139595482(6) seconds. According to Wikipedia it must be smaller than 32km in diameter. But we don't actually KNOW - it's just that it would fly apart if it were a rotating star that was any larger.

Examining pulsar signals gives further problems to the lighthouse model. Some pulsars exhibit a "grammar" of emissions. They may have three patterns of signal, for example, and will switch from pattern A to B, and from A to C, but never from B to C. Also, the individual pulses (known, confusingly, as "interpulses" may be strikingly different one from another but the "time-averaged constant" is always the same to an anomalous degree of accuracy.

I'm running short of space but would recommend the book Talk of the Galaxy by Paul laViolette. Although much of the book is devoted to the idea that pulsars are pointed at us to send us a message about impending galactic doom, the data he gives about pulsar anomalies is fascinating: what I've been able to include here is just scratching the surface.

posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:59 AM
link what your suggesting, is that they are kinda like time synchronizers for the local area of space, kinda like a server that synchronizes client computers which connect to it.

The "switching off" effect is definately strange, but explainable by your hypthesis if they actually were some sort of device.....that turned on when a frequency was sent to it from something in that area of space.

could also be like buoys on the ocean.....they mark a specific area...for some reason. perhaps even like a warning of some kind.

interesting stuff.....

posted on May, 6 2006 @ 08:23 AM
Well, I can explain one or two things there, and I will say that the rest we haven't determined because of our lack of knowledge in the field.

I mean, we know how physics work up to a point - and those points are at the extremes. Pulsars are one of those extremes.

First of all, on the topic of planets orbiting Pulsars. I don't see why this is impossible. The highly circular orbits could just be a coincidence since we haven't really done much detection of planets around pulsars.

Secondly, the pulsars that seem to "switch off". This is a seem-to, not an "is". It's likely that some invisible companion (and by invisible I mean "dark" since not enough light reflects off of it for it to be seen, such as a planet... so in essence it's Dark Matter, a M.A.C.H.O.) has moved in front of it, and is blocking the pulsar's pulses for a time period, before it happens again.

I just find that pulsars fit into a really neat section of the universe.

If you want something REALLY wierd about neutron stars though...

Some neutron stars spin at incredibly rapid rates - much faster than anything we thought possible - and certainly much faster than the 2 pings per second that people tend to think with the "lighthouse" neutron stars. Some are at 600 pings per second - meaning that their surface at its equator is moving at ONE THIRD times the speed of light!

That's cool!

posted on May, 6 2006 @ 11:08 AM
I didn't really have space to go into all the weird stuff LaViolette enumerates. The 'grammar' stuff is pretty weird, though.

And he mentions a quotation from someone, possibly Frank Drake, that says if you want to find evidence of ET activity, look for large-scale, unlikely-looking, engineering. I suspect that pulsars fall into this category.

The 'grammar' of pulsations is very odd, for example. I suspect that there may well be some sorts of signals locked up in the interpulses that we don't fully understand.

We talk, today, so confidently of 'pulsars' and the like, when we have actually never seen them. And one cannot help thinking that, if man survives, many of these concepts will go the way of phlogiston and unicorns.

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