Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by varek, May 1, 2014.
I for one welcome our new alien overlords.
It could just be burps from some long-ago dead star that took billions of years to get here. There's so many natural celestial objects out there, including pulses from newly-formed black holes, pulsars, etc., that could emit signals (or a series of signals) from countless light-years away. If there was a regular-occurring pattern that could be measured over a length of time...
Alien signals would be the last thing I would attribute these radio bursts to. SETI, in fact, is entirely based on theories revolving around wishful thinking. It's no wonder they haven't detected aliens after yay, these many years. I've always suspected that the odds of Human-like awareness and intelligence are so impossibly against it occuring that it would take an entire universe to arrive at one instance of it. Despite Man's best efforts to force life on earth into extinction, this planet still has plenty of strange and amazing creatures! Maybe we should try reaching out to them, instead ...
I wonder why the WOW! signal was never truly classified by scientists as our first contact by extraterrestrials?
It clearly wasn't from a natural source according to most journals I've read on the subject.
Gee, possibly because this 72-second signal was extremely ambiguous and never repeated? Basing conclusions on very tenuous data is not science. At best, this is a curiosity to be filed away if-and-until some other observation dovetails with it to warrant re-examination.
How was the alleged 2.2 gigawatt power of the signal figured? By distance? What if the distance estimate is wrong? And just because terrestrial transmitters are "forbidden" from using the received frequency does not completely rule out terrestrial origin. (No human would ever break a law.)
No, this "observation" is too sketchy to be awarding it the honor of "first contact."
I am curious, T'Girl...may I ask why you welcome the AO?
It's a joke from The Simpsons'.
Ah...thank you, Bill...I have never actually seen that show...
If there really are technologically advanced extraterrestrials, why would you assume that was our first contact?
<goosebumps>...cue Holst, "The Planets"...well-posited, Admiral Scott...well posited...
Because we don't know if there are extraterrestrials (close enough to send that signal). The WOW signal in itself is not significant evidence that there are aliens (it can be explained by natural phenomena – even if it would be difficult, aliens are still more extraordinary at this point). OTOH, if there are aliens that close, it is more likely to have come from them than from natural sources, as it does resemble what an artificial signal would look like just like you say. So the only thing the WOW signal does is refute the argument "If there are aliens, why we haven't heard from them yet?", but that argument was falacious to begin with, so the WOW signal doesn't change much there either.
It's creepy in a way. If we have alien neighbours having powerful radio transmitters, it is close to certain that we have received a signal from them. Yet we are no closer to knowing if we actually have such neighbours, or if such species exist anywhere in the galaxy, and even in the universe. (I'm personally sceptical about aliens in our neighbourhood, but I am positive about aliens in our galaxy, and somewhat close to certain about aliens in the universe – though in the last case we'd never hear from them.)
Good points. The evidence is not conclusive, either way, so it is difficult to form an intelligent opinion.
To paraphrase Zane Ziminski, "What if they were transmitting their encyclopedia galactica?!"
The message being 'This Content Not Available In Your Area'
The universe has lots of tricks to play.
Pulsars were thought to be little green men at first. So help me, there will probably be a new type of stellar collapse discovered that perfectly mimics the opening of an "I Love Lucy" episode re-broadcast.
Now if the WOW signal was really from ET, we probably only heard it as it was being lensed as Earth passed through the focal line left by a star that boosted its strength.
So if it was ET, you might have to send a radio telecope to that position in space Earth way, or at least look for any object that lensed the signal--and anything behind it as the original source.
Breaking News: The subspace burst detected by radio telescopes on May 1 has been decoded. It says "Damn you, Comedy Central, damn you! Expect a fleet of warbirds at your location!" There was nothing new about the Malaysian missing plane in it.
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