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Mysterious signals 1000 light years away?

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posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 04:10 PM
Has anyone managed to get to the article listed on , with the title "Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away"? The link given is but I can't get it to work, nor can I get to the site.

Looks intriguing!!

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 04:13 PM
But to no avail! Yes, I agree, it looks VERY intriguing and would like to know much more about it. Anyone have any other links to anyone else who might be carrying the story?

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 04:16 PM
Most odd, I can't get onto it either. I know it's real because I go on it sometimes and get the magazine every week!! As you say - most intriguing!!!

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 04:30 PM
Ok, I finally managed to get the page to load. Here's the article, in case anyone has trouble reaching it again:

In February 2003, astronomers involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) pointed the massive radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, at around 200 sections of the sky.

The same telescope had previously detected unexplained radio signals at least twice from each of these regions, and the astronomers were trying to reconfirm the findings. The team has now finished analysing the data, and all the signals seem to have disappeared. Except one, which has got stronger.

This radio signal, now seen on three separate occasions, is an enigma. It could be generated by a previously unknown astronomical phenomenon. Or it could be something much more mundane, maybe an artefact of the telescope itself.

But it also happens to be the best candidate yet for a contact by intelligent aliens in the nearly six-year history of the SETI@home project, which uses programs running as screensavers on millions of personal computers worldwide to sift through signals picked up by the Arecibo telescope.

Absorb and emit

“It’s the most interesting signal from SETI@home,” says Dan Werthimer, a radio astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and the chief scientist for SETI@home. “We’re not jumping up and down, but we are continuing to observe it.”

Named SHGb02+14a, the signal has a frequency of about 1420 megahertz. This happens to be one of the main frequencies at which hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, readily absorbs and emits energy.

Some astronomers have argued that extraterrestrials trying to advertise their presence would be likely to transmit at this frequency, and SETI researchers conventionally scan this part of the radio spectrum.

SHGb02+14a seems to be coming from a point between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there is no obvious star or planetary system within 1000 light years. And the transmission is very weak.

“We are looking for something that screams out ‘artificial’,” says UCB researcher Eric Korpela, who completed the analysis of the signal in April. “This just doesn’t do that, but it could be because it is distant.”

Unknown signature

The telescope has only observed the signal for about a minute in total, which is not long enough for astronomers to analyse it thoroughly. But, Korpela thinks it unlikely SHGb02+14a is the result of any obvious radio interference or noise, and it does not bear the signature of any known astronomical object.

That does not mean that only aliens could have produced it. “It may be a natural phenomenon of a previously undreamed-of kind like I stumbled over,” says Jocelyn Bell Burnell of the University of Bath, UK.

It was Bell Burnell who in 1967 noticed a pulsed radio signal which the research team at the time thought was from extraterrestrials but which turned out to be the first ever sighting of a pulsar.

There are other oddities. For instance, the signal’s frequency is drifting by between eight to 37 hertz per second. “The signal is moving rapidly in frequency and you would expect that to happen if you are looking at a transmitter on a planet that’s rotating very rapidly and where the civilisation is not correcting the transmission for the motion of the planet,” Korpela says.

This does not, however, convince Paul Horowitz, a Harvard University astronomer who looks for alien signals using optical telescopes. He points out that the SETI@home software corrects for any drift in frequency.

Fishy and puzzling

The fact that the signal continues to drift after this correction is “fishy”, he says. “If [the aliens] are so smart, they’ll adjust their signal for their planet’s motion.”

The relatively rapid drift of the signal is also puzzling for other reasons. A planet would have to be rotating nearly 40 times faster than Earth to have produced the observed drift; a transmitter on Earth would produce a signal with a drift of about 1.5 hertz per second.

What is more, if telescopes are observing a signal that is drifting in frequency, then each time they look for it they should most likely encounter it at a slightly different frequency. But in the case of SHGb02+14a, every observation has first been made at 1420 megahertz, before it starts drifting. “It just boggles my mind,” Korpela says.

The signal could be an artefact that, for some reason, always appears to be coming from the same point in the sky. The Arecibo telescope has a fixed dish reflector and scans the skies by changing the position of its receiver relative to the dish.

When the receiver reaches a certain position, it might just be able to reflect waves from the ground onto the dish and then back to itself, making it seem as if the signal was coming from space.

“Perhaps there is an object on the ground near the telescope emitting at about this frequency,” Korpela says. This could be confirmed by using a different telescope to listen for SHGb02+14a.

Possible fraud

There is also the possibility of fraud by someone hacking the SETI@home software to make it return evidence for an extraterrestrial transmission. However, SHGb02+14a was seen on two different occasions by different SETI@home users, and those calculations were confirmed by others.

Then the signal was seen a third time by the SETI@home researchers. The unusual characteristics of the signal also make it unlikely that someone is playing a prank, Korpela says. “As I can’t think of any way to make a signal like this, I can’t think of any way to fake it.”

David Anderson, director of SETI@home, remains sceptical but curious about the signal. ”It’s unlikely to be real but we will definitely be re-observing it.” Bell Burnell agrees that it is worth persisting with. “If they can see it four, five or six times it really begins to get exciting,” she says.

It is already exciting for IT engineers Oliver Voelker of Logpoint in Nuremberg, Germany and Nate Collins of Farin and Associates in Madison, Wisconsin, who found the signal.

Collins wonders how his bosses will react to company computers finding aliens. “I might have to explain a little further about just how much I was using [the computers],” he says.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 04:39 PM

I just got it to work...

This is basically what it said...

SETI has detected a strong signal on THREE separate occassions from the same location in the sky. The last time the same section of sky was checked the signal had grown in strength. The signal has some unusual properties. It may also be the result of a seti@home hack or a technical screw-up...
...however, it is considered the best 'wow' signal to date..

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 04:40 PM
sorry to repeat, owl,

we must have been writing at the same time. I was called away from my computer.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:01 PM
No problem onlyinmydreams. This is pretty cool!

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:04 PM
Well, then, it seems that someone has picked up our message, and sending a reply? 1000 light years? Time what point in our history are they seeing us then, if one considers time and space and relativity...THAT would be a subject worth talking about!

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:22 PM
Maybe they got Hitler during the Olympic games!!!!

Great new avatar by the way Skadi...Is that you before coffee???

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:26 PM
heh just a reminder: 1420 megahertz = 1.42 gigahertz......there's a lot of microchips out there right now churning away at 1.4ish ghz (in particular a lot of laptops running the 1.4 ghz mobile pentium 4) and each of those chips is a little radio transmitter giving off approximately a square-wave signal at right around 1.4 although I'm hoping there's an actual alien signal to investigate/decode, I hope the guys doing the radio astronomy have ruled out the possibility that this is just a signal coming from a nearby computer (ie, perhaps the computer is located in a position that makes it look like the signal's coming from that region of the sky).

also, the time frame for when the signal showed up is reasonably close to when laptops in the 1+ ghz range started becoming again, I hope they've checked for nearby computer equipment that might have made the signal.

two questions:

a) does anyone know if 8-37hz/sec is within the range a microchip's clock speed typically ranges?
b) does anyone know where that guy who found the "strong signal" from somewhere in the sky claimed the signal was coming from, and what was concluded about that signal? it was a couple of months ago, if i recall, that there was somebody on usenet claiming to have observed an unusual transmission from space...anyone remember that?

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:46 PM

Originally posted by Gazrok
Maybe they got Hitler during the Olympic games!!!!

Great new avatar by the way Skadi...Is that you before coffee???

Actually, Im a tea drinker, Gaz. My gramps was a limey, go figure

My new avatar reflects my promotion to absolute ruler of hell, princess of all that is evil and vile, commander in chief of the demon legions of the Abyss, ect, since my colleauge and predecessor, acidhead, is moving on to a position as messiah.

To celebrate my promotion to patroness and champion of the legions of darkness, I am going to the spa this weekend to get a chemical peel and seaweed wrap for my horns, and have already ordered a new state of the art anti matter pitchfork, and already am planning a innaguration party, with all star guests like Hitler, Attila the Hun, Napoleon, Frank Sinatra, and Barney. Ill also be in negotiation with my advisors and the Kerry campaign to work out a barter for his soul, should he be elected, since i already own the rights and royalties to the whole Bush admin and thier eternal fates

Youre invited, if you wish!

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:50 PM
yeah skadi = just remember its on my server space so i can change it to suit so dont upset me

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:59 PM
Be that as it may, acid, you only possess your 150 quid armanis because you sold your soul for the spot in hell where you get tied up to a rack and tormented by 18 year old succubi in g-strings.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 06:17 PM
Correction, the signal isn't "1000 lightyears away" They have no clue how far its away.

What is said is that the signal comes from a position where "within a 1000 lightyears no known star or other object in space is located"

Wich means, left, right, up, down, a 1000 lightyears, no star or other space object is where they are picking this signal up.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 07:01 PM
this is also what i though of sisonek. it wasn't long ago that people found a signal which turned out to be nothing more than the mocroprocessor in their macs. hopefully that isn't the case.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 07:14 PM
Amazing stuff any updates on all this?

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 08:06 PM
Yeah hopefully we will continue to get some info about this.Shame everytime i think of Seti now it reminds of that film

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 08:36 PM

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
Well, then, it seems that someone has picked up our message

Message? What message? The one sagan designed? Not that far out there no. They'd have, well, almost 1,000 years to receive it.

1000 light years? Time what point in our history are they seeing us

Well, 1,000 light years away means that it takes light 1,000 years to go from there to here. So lets assume that a signal was sent from earth to them. It takes a thousand years to get to them. Then they send a reply, and it takes a thousand years to get to us. Thats 2,000 years.

Gadzooks! They must be picking up on jesus's gameboy or nintendo or something! [/sarcasm]

But as someone else poitned out, they don't know how far away the transmission is, all they know is that this is the first object in space for 1000 light years.

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 09:50 PM
Well, the article mentions that there is no star within 1000 light years. Perhaps the Alien civilization that is transmitting the signal lives within a Dyson sphere which was constructed from the mass of all (or most) of the other planets in the solar system, and is masking the sun. So from earth, the star is not visible, but the signal is obviously still able to be transmitted.

Just a thought

posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 09:59 PM

by sisonek

b) does anyone know where that guy who found the "strong signal" from somewhere in the sky claimed the signal was coming from, and what was concluded about that signal? it was a couple of months ago, if i recall, that there was somebody on usenet claiming to have observed an unusual transmission from space...anyone remember that?

Yeah, he found it on the hydrogen line also. Funnily enough there was another newsgroup topic going on near the same time where I guy was determined to send a signal into space with a 10m dish. People were suggesting he use the hydrogen line. Maybe he followed through with it?

To me the whole SETI project is a joke. Let's face it, the use of the hydrogen line is just convenient for SETI, not for ETI. I see no valid reason to assume ETI would know to transmit intelligence on the hydrogen line. Unless they knew somehow that SETI was listening on that frequency.

ETI may not even use the same modulation techniques as we do, meaning that transmissions of intelligence may not be limited to a single frequency or sine wave in their transceivers. SETI makes a broad assumption that ETI is almost exactly like us. If they are almost exactly like us, consider that humans don't broadcast signals madly to ETI on the hydrogen line.

Put simply, SETI is the equivalent of two people sitting at telephone receivers each waiting for the other to call.

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