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SETI: 50 years of searching for ET: a recounting

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posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:16 AM

Somewhere out there, alien civilizations might be communicating with each other.

They might even be trying to contact us. Fifty years ago, this reasoning compelled astronomer Frank Drake to point a radio telescope at the stars and listen for chatter. He didn't hear E.T. calling us, caling home, or calling anywhere else during his four-month-long experiment at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, W.Va., but the effort officially kicked off what is known as SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

By 1974, Drake and his colleagues still hadn't heard anything from ET, but they hadn't given up hope. Instead, they sent a message out to the aliens with the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, the first deliberate message sent from Earth out to the stars. The message contained information about life-giving chemicals, DNA, a simple drawing of our solar system, and pictures of human beings and the Arecibo telescope. The string of 1's and 0's was sent to a group of about 300,000 stars in called the Great Cluster in Hercules, Messier 13, about 25,000 light years away.

1977-The WOW Message:

Did E.T. make a prank call to Earth on Aug. 15, 1977? We may never know for sure, but astronomer Jerry Ehman was struck enough by a string of letters and numbers on a printout of radio data from the Big Ear Radio Observatory at Ohio State University to scribble "Wow!" in the margin. The extraordinary signal might have been E.T., or something else. Whatever it was, astronomers have been unable to find it again despite dozens of searches, leaving open the possibility that E.T. called but hung up after the first ring

2007: Telescope array turned on!

For most of the past 50 years, SETI projects have required astronomers to wait in line for time on giant radio telescopes around the world. That changed in 2007 with the opening of the Allen Telescope Array, a constellation of 42 radio telescopes with 20-foot-wide dishes in the scrublands about 300 miles northeast of San Francisco. The array, privately financed by software billionaire Paul Allen and others, puts the search for E.T. front and center. The project is jointly run by the SETI Institute and the University of California at Berkley. In the coming decades the array may grow to 350 antennas, making it one of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world.

The Future of SETI:

As of this writing, extraterrestrials remain elusive, assuming that they exist at all. Given that the search is only 50 years old, many astronomers see little reason to despair – things are just getting going. NASA recently lent a new hand to the search with its Kepler mission, a space telescope that is looking for Earthlike, habitable planets around thousands of stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Detection of these planets will help SETI scientists focus their efforts.

This is just a brief info piece of the 50 years history. This is all new to me. But, I have to ask, the positive results, is there any? They must have more than the WOW message from 1077 to be investing so much time, money and people's efforts.

ATSers SCHOOL me on SETI. Good, Bad or Indifferent? I want the quick class-before I decide to look into them more. Thank you.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:52 AM
interesting thread here friend,,,,have you been looking at m82 recently by any chance ? now if only we knew what that noise is,,black holes ? neutron stars ? etc,etc i would love to hear what the seti take is on such a powerful signal...kind of feels like somebodys shone a torch in this direction...

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:58 AM
Here is a shorter simpler version of the story. Long time ago they had a wow signal and have been sucking up donation and grant money ever since.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 12:38 PM
reply to post by zaiger

That's what I was beginning to think. I went to the ATS board for SETI and looking over the threads and responses, I see there doesn't seem to be much interest there.?

Seems like they have great ideas and are putting together a lot of people and efforts.

I was thinking about this a bit. Why don't we strap on a big Microphone/Telescope onto a ship and sent it off into Space. Hell, make a bunch and send them in all different directions. All with little time/info capsuals of the human race and earth?

If something or some intelligent being, they find one eventually.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by anon72

Well SETI like everything in the field of UFOs jsut can't win. If SETI does find something significant like the WOW signal, it gets dismissed. The current explanation is that it was a man made signal, but it it was why do we not get those kind of signals all the time?
When SETI does not find anything they are a part of the schizophrenia induced "PTP"TPTB"TPAH" and are covering up an alien base in another dimension under their satalite dishes.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by anon72

Here is my humble opinion on the topic
about ET's.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 01:26 PM
reply to post by anon72

Hi anon its good your taking an interest in science
i can help with some of your questions.

But, I have to ask, the positive results, is there any? They must have more than the WOW message from 1077 to be investing so much time, money and people's efforts.

SETI have never had a dedicated telescope to search before the ATA. In the last 50 years actual observation time totals around 5 years. SETI is funded by donations so no need to worry about wasting tax dollars. The ATA42 still only uses around 5% of its potential becuase we dont have the computing power to process all the channels it can detect. As computing power increases so will the performance of the ATA. So you can see we are only really at the very beginning of the seti experiment. No postive results so far only a few false alarms.

I support SETI in doing their experiment but i dont think they will find anything becuase i think tech civs are rare. But my speculation doesnt matter. As someone famous once said " in science speculation is desired but experimentation is definitive".

Thats what seti are doing an experiment. My view is we should always support any science experiment no matter how crazy becuase thats how we find out more about the world/universe we live in. Only time will tell what the results of the experiment are anything else is just speculation. In seti even a null result is significant as it would tell us long lasting transmitting civs are rare. It doesnt tell us much but it tells us something about the universe we live in.

Also in science alot of discoveries have been made by pure chance like the cosmic microwave background radiation. SETI is poised for something like that becuase nobody has ever searched the way they are.

hope that helps

[edit on 27-4-2010 by yeti101]

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 01:50 PM
reply to post by yeti101

Very helpful. Thank you. Now I will look into SETI more as I believe in their mission. I just don't want to be the one who accidently bumps into a mean one that is hungry....

Again, thank you for putting the whole lack of telescope(s) issue to rest. For me, I wish we just had at least ONE great piece of eveidence from SETI so many we could convince the people of Earth there is more to life then killing each other. Lets get our future (kids) into Space.....

My mind can't stop thinking about what may be out there (Space) but more so-what if there isn't? A shame-for now. That is why we humans need to get out there to document and learn from the ever expanding Space/Universe (if we are the only ones-it is our duty).

However, if we aren't the only ones, I feel it is our duty to reach out to them and hopefully become a part of something much bigger than ourselves.

I posted this before in a thread about Hubble and how it changed my life: I just saw the Hubble Telescope IMAX 3D Movie: worth every penny (2 ways).

1: If we humans are the only ones in this Universe-what a shame. However, that demands of us then to be the ones who head into Space to explore, learn and expand.
2: If we humans aren't the only ones in this Universe-Wow. Then it is our duty to reach out to them and become a part of something much bigger than ourselves. To teach, to learn and to expand as a race.

With either one, you can't help but feel that we are very miniscual in the big picture. But, you can't help but feel we are an important & special part in the big picture.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:56 PM
I really wish we had found a signal by now. I mean for 50 years we really haven't found any proof of intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the universe. It's a little disheartening that we are not being bombarded by radio waves from extra terrestrials. I wonder why though. I mean with billions of billions of billions of stars in the universe, you'd think we would be getting bombarded with signals. Maybe there's something more behind it. I guess it's possible that aliens wouldn't use radio waves for communication, but I think that at least some intelligent civilization out there would be using this technology to communicate at least in some point of their existence. Who knows...

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 05:00 PM
SETI reminds me of cancer reseach , oh no we havent found a cure / ET signal yet , more funding please.....what a joke....

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 07:46 PM
reply to post by ignolan

You make an interesting point but I will counter with this.

What makes us so special that we should think that other beings (with apparently more or higher IQ's etc) would waste their time coming here-WITH billions of other possible places to go in the Universe.

No disrespect intended towards the human race but maybe they did come (1940, 50s, 60s, etc) and determined we aren't worth it, for what ever reason. The just moved on-said we'll check on those nuts in about a 100 years, maybe a 1000-to see if they are worth the time and effort. Maybe we have become known as the getto of the Universe, or The-Other-SIde-of-the-Tracks race.

Whatever it is, or isn't, we must continue to try to reach them. Why? Because we can! The deer aren't gonna do it. The cats-could care less. Not to mention almost any species on Earth doesn't have that dam opposing, operating thumb.


posted on May, 11 2010 @ 11:51 PM
Those antenna will not pick up the proper signals.
A very sensitive radio or wave disturbance detector is not being built.
EM won't work inter planet or galactic or communication throughout the
If you think the people with the big antennas are doing something
they are fooling us and themselves.

Tesla would beam to a planet that would give a noticeable impact
much less make a radio signal as well.
If other universes had their own Tesla they would have sent a signal
from the farthest reaches of the universe.
However we would need Tesla's ether detection method.

posted on May, 12 2010 @ 12:13 AM
Extraterrestrial contact, the evidence and the implication by Greer is an excellent book and this subject plays a huge role in it.

I recommend it.

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