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A new search for artificial objects at stable Lagrangian points (amateur SETA)

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posted on May, 20 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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Consider for a moment the hypothetical that a technologically advanced life form wishes to explore and monitor a vast number of solar systems automatically in the most energy efficient way possible. One method would be to send unmanned automated self-replicating probes, with or without material needed to reconstitute biological life forms once arriving at the destination. It would be highly desireable for such a probe to be orbiting in a location that provides uninterrupted monitoring of one or more target worlds for a long period of time with a minimum expenditure of energy. Lagrangian points L4 and L5 offer the perfect location to conduct long term surveillance and exploration of a planet from a distance without spending any fuel or energy to remain in a fixed position relative to the target planet. Recently, asteroids of differing origins have been discovered at the L4 and L5 points of the Mars-Sun system, the first one discovered by amateur astronomer David Levy. A hypothetical automated von Neumann-type probe may be able to use the metal ores and other resources in these asteroids to replicate itself and send the completed copy to the next target solar system while the original copy might remain here as a long term observer and/or replicator. Searches of the earth-moon L4 and L5 points have been conducted and did not find any artificial or natural discrete objects (www.rfreitas.com...). I propose to conduct a search of the Mars-Sun L4 and L5 points for new objects using an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and Canon XTi camera. The search will be webcast live on Ustream.tv while the finished video and subsequent analysis will be uploaded to ATS media and posted on the video forum as an entry in the new video contest. Once the local weather permits we will search the L5 point trailing Mars (as L4 is currently obscured by the sun). This thread will be updated soon with a link and time for the live webcast, and hopefully this will be the first of many similar searches to come.




posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 12:51 PM
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I think this is very interesting project. I'll be clear and admit to having limited understanding of astronomy and orbital mechanics etc. I only read about Lagrangian points after reading about Trojan asteroids.

Hypothetically, it seems intuitive and efficient for a possible advanced ET to situate observatories in these positions. If the intention is for discrete and passive observation, where else would be better? The objects would be non-reflective and have only a notional effect on any nearby natural objects due to minute mass. The search would be like looking for the twinkle in a man's eye from an orbiting satellite! Huge odds against discovering the hypothetical object, but worth the venture for the potential reward...

If one was located, the next logical step would be to isolate it's means of transmission (presuming it transmits data to a server of sorts). Again, if discretion was an objective the transmission would be disguised to prevent the observed becoming observer. The signature might be buried in background radiation or somehow communicated to a 'server' without being a beacon, more like an encoded laser pointed at a specific receiver in a chain?

Anyway, I'm probably speculating beyond my subject knowledge so I'll leave it there. Good luck with the project



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
The objects would be non-reflective and have only a notional effect on any nearby natural objects due to minute mass. The search would be like looking for the twinkle in a man's eye from an orbiting satellite! Huge odds against discovering the hypothetical object, but worth the venture for the potential reward...

I completely agree. Even with a long exposure it would be difficult to locate anything with a low albedo unless it were quite large. As they say though, you've got to start somewhere. Even if all such a project finds are other asteroids it might be able to attract support and interest to conduct deeper searches.


The signature might be buried in background radiation or somehow communicated to a 'server' without being a beacon, more like an encoded laser pointed at a specific receiver in a chain?

Very true - point to point laser transmission would be nearly impossible for us to detect unless we sent a probe to it to observe the entire device from all angles.


Anyway, I'm probably speculating beyond my subject knowledge so I'll leave it there. Good luck with the project

Thanks! I just relocated my misplaced charger for the camera after moving to darker skies. Now all I need are clear skies...



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


Good luck and I hope for an update soon.


For those who run across this thread and do not know what Lagrangian points are....


The Lagrangian points (pronounced /ləˈɡreɪndʒiən/; also Lagrange point, L-point, or libration point), are the five positions in an orbital configuration where a small object affected only by gravity can theoretically be stationary relative to two larger objects (such as a satellite with respect to the Earth and Moon). The Lagrange points mark positions where the combined gravitational pull of the two large masses provides precisely the centripetal force required to rotate with them. They are analogous to geostationary orbits in that they allow an object to be in a "fixed" position in space rather than an orbit in which its relative position changes continuously.



**It is important to note that Lagrangian points occur in areas other than a Earth-Sun relationship.


Image and text courtesy of wikipedia.org



posted on Jun, 19 2009 @ 05:31 PM
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Thats a really interesting idea you have there NGC, im looking forward to your findings.


S&F keep up the great work.



posted on Oct, 3 2010 @ 01:58 AM
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Hi

Interesting project.

Kandinsky was so kind to mention this thread some place else, so here I am.
I already knew a thing or two on the subject,, but I missed this thread. Probably because I wasn't even a member yet when it was posted


Anyway...

Since I was reading and it has been a while since this thread was posted I'd like to ask you if you have finished your project, and if so, what have you learned ? Is it still a work in progress or did you abandon it ?

Anyways... BUMP !



posted on Oct, 4 2010 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
Since I was reading and it has been a while since this thread was posted I'd like to ask you if you have finished your project, and if so, what have you learned ? Is it still a work in progress or did you abandon it ?

Anyways... BUMP !

It's on hold; after doing some initial testing I came to the conlcusion that my original choice for equipment to use just wasn't going to be workable in a realtime search. The XTi camera is just too much of a handful to hunt for potential objects in the images and collect images at the same time. I'd like to be able to perform the hunt in realtime so that if I think I see something potentially moving over the course of a few minutes I can respond in realtime to hang around that spot and keep watching. I've now got the equipment I need to make it happen, in particular, a video camera capable of long exposure deep space imaging in both visible light and infrared. The initial broadcasts optimizing that equipment were a resounding success, I was even able to perform a test search for Robert Harrington's fabled "planet X" using his predicted orbit for the object; that search turned up nothing of course, but it gave me the chance to confirm that it's possible to astrometrically solve a series of images from a broadcast with this camera, overlay them on digitized sky survey images taken decades ago, and either confirm that every dot seen is a background star or confirm that it's a new object. Now I've got a new problem though; the streaming site I was going to use banned me for "copyright infringement" during a broadcast of Jupiter and I lost an hour's worth of irreplaceable footage. First they denied even doing it when I contacted them, then they tried to blame me, finally they admitted they were wrong and say it won't happen again. Frankly, I don't trust them. I now need to test some software that was recommended to me that should enable me to simultaneously record the video feed offline while broadcasting it online. Finally, once that's tested and working, I need to take the whole setup to a darker sky location for optimum results and actually start the SETA. Dark sky locations and broadband internet access with good upload speeds are typically mutually exclusive things, but my parent's home is at least fairly dark and I'll have broadband access while there. I should be heading up that way this weekend, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to test the offline video recording before then. The last thing I want to do is cover an hour's worth of sky and then lose it all because they banned me again.


edit on 4-10-2010 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



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