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Thread: What's NASA Up To And Other Space Stuff

  1. #271
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Elon Musk talked about the latest version of his plan to go to Mars and what-not last night. Here's the video. Some good, compelling stuff -- a sliver of optimism in a not-very-optimistic time....

    https://www.space.com/17933-nasa-tel...adline+Feed%29
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  2. #272
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    I thought this was a decent read. Interesting to see a scientist make such a definitive statement... I'd take that bet. But they've got to be out there, right? Somewhere, in all the HUGEness?



    Why We’ll Have Evidence of Aliens—If They Exist—By 2035


    I’ve bet a cup of coffee to any and all that by 2035 we’ll have evidence of E.T. To many of my colleagues, that sounds like a losing proposition. For more than a half-century, a small coterie of scientists has been pursuing the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI. And we haven’t found a thing.

    I’m optimistic by nature—as a scientist, you have to be. But my hopeful feeling is not wishful thinking; it is firmly grounded in the logic of SETI. Half a century sounds like a long time, but the search is truly in its early days. Given the current state of SETI efforts and abilities, I feel that we’re on the cusp of learning something truly revolutionary.

    Most of our experiments so far have used large radio antennas in an effort to eavesdrop on radio signals transmitted by other societies, an approach that was dramatized by Jodie Foster in the 1997 movie Contact. Unlike other alien potboilers, Contact’s portrayal of how we might search for extraterrestrials was reasonably accurate. Nonetheless, that film reinforced the common belief that SETI practitioners paw through cosmic static looking for unusual patterns, such as a string of prime numbers. The truth is simpler: We have been searching for narrow-band signals. “Narrow-band” means that a large fraction of the transmitter power is squeezed into a tiny part of the radio dial, making the transmission easier to find. This is analogous to the way a laser pointer, despite having only a few milliwatts of power, nonetheless looks bright because the energy is concentrated into a narrow wavelength range.

    A modern SETI receiver simultaneously examines tens or even hundreds of millions of channels, each having a cramped 1-hertz bandwidth. That bandwidth is 5 million times narrower than a TV signal and lacks the capacity to carry information—a message. But the idea is to first discover aliens that are on the air, after which a far larger instrument would be built to dig out any modulation.

    To aim our antennas, SETI has traditionally used two approaches. One is to scan as much of the sky as possible; the other is to zero in on nearby star systems. You might think that the former would have an edge, since it makes no assumptions about where the aliens might be hanging out. But a sky survey spends most of its time looking at empty space. If you subscribe to the conventional view that extraterrestrials will most likely be ensconced on planets or moons, then it’s better to devote precious telescope time to examining nearby star systems.

    One current targeted search is the SETI Institute’s red dwarf survey, which takes place at the Allen Telescope Array, an ensemble of 42 antennas hunkered down in the California Cascades. We are going down a list of 20,000 small stars that are prime candidates for hosting habitable planets. These ruddy runts are both numerous and, on average, old. Most have been around for billions of years, the time it took life on Earth to evolve from microscopic slime to high-tech hominids. Astronomers estimate that roughly one-half of all red dwarfs might have a rocky world in the habitable zone, where temperatures would abide liquid water.

    The SETI Institute is not the only band of alien hunters. Buoyed by a large infusion of money from the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, the SETI group at the University of California, Berkeley, is renting time on the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Parkes Radio Telescope in the sheep country west of Sydney, Australia. Their decade-long project, known as Breakthrough Listen, also homes in on individual star systems.

    While these efforts are broadly similar to what’s been done for decades, they are not your daddy’s SETI. The rapid growth in digital processing means that far larger swaths of the radio dial can be examined at one go and—in the case of the Allen array—many star systems can be checked out simultaneously. The array now examines three stars at once, but additional computer power could boost that to more than 100. Within two decades, SETI experiments will be able to complete a reconnaissance of 1 million star systems, which is hundreds of times more than have been carefully examined so far. SETI practitioners from Frank Drake to Carl Sagan have estimated that the galaxy currently houses somewhere between 10,000 and a few million broadcasting societies. If these estimates are right, then examining 1 million star systems could well lead to a discovery. So, if the premise of SETI has merit, we should find a broadcast from E.T. within a generation. That would spare me the expense of buying you a cup of coffee.

    Furthermore, scientists have been diversifying. For two decades, some SETI researchers have used conventional optical telescopes to look for extremely brief laser flashes coming from the stars. In many ways, aliens might be more likely to communicate by pulsed light than radio signals, for the same reason that people are turning to fiber optics for Internet access: It can, at least in principle, send 100,000 times as many bits per second as radio can. These so-called optical SETI experiments have been limited to looking at one star system at a time. But like their radio cousins, they’re poised to become speedier as new technology allows them to survey ever-wider tracts of sky.

    Physicists have also proposed wholly new modes of communications, such as neutrinos and gravitational waves. Some of my SETI colleagues have mulled these options, but we don’t see much merit in them at the moment. Both neutrinos and gravitational waves are inherently hard to create and detect. In nature, it takes the collapse of a star or the merger of black holes to produce them in any quantity. The total energy required to send “Hello, Earth” would be daunting, even for a civilization that could command the resources of a galaxy.

    IceCube, the University of Wisconsin’s big neutrino detector in Antarctica, is sensitive only to very high-energy particles, which are precisely those that would be costliest to produce. In all the years it has been operating, the instrument has detected a total of a few dozen of these particles, even though it is a cubic kilometer in size. As for gravitational waves, the Laser Interferometric Gravitational-Wave Observatory has been able to detect colliding black holes over the final second of their infall. It is hard to imagine that aliens would go to the trouble of smashing together two huge black holes for a second’s worth of signal.

    But there is a completely different approach that has yet to be explored in much detail: to look for artifacts—engineering projects of an advanced society. Some astronomers have suggested an alien megastructure, possibly an energy-collecting Dyson sphere, as the explanation for the mysterious dimming of Tabby’s star (officially known as KIC 8462852). It is a serious possibility, but no evidence has yet been found to support it.

    It’s also conceivable that extraterrestrials could have left time capsules in our own solar system, perhaps millions or billions of years ago, on the assumption that our planet might eventually evolve a species able to find them. The Lagrange points in the Earth-moon system—locations where the gravity of Earth, moon, and sun are balanced, so that an object placed there will stay there—have been suggested as good hunting grounds for alien artifacts, as has the moon itself.

    Another idea is that we should search for the high-energy exhausts of interstellar rockets. The fastest spacecraft would presumably use the most efficient fuel: matter combining with antimatter. Their destructive “combustion” would not only shoot the craft through space at a fair fraction of the speed of light, but would produce a gamma-ray exhaust, which we might detect. Rockets could be sorted out from natural gamma ray sources by their relatively quick motion across the sky.

    The appealing thing about artifacts is that finding them is not time-critical. In contrast, to search for signals, you need to activate your instruments at the right time. It doesn’t help to look for radio pings, laser flashes, or neutrino bursts if E.T. reached out to touch us during the reign of the dinosaurs or will do so a hundred million years from now. Artifacts have no such synchronicity problem. That said, looking for artifacts has its own bummer factors. Anything beyond our solar system would need be truly huge to be visible; cousins of the starship Enterprise would be very difficult to find.

    SETI is not a traditional science problem in which a hypothesis can be falsified. We can never prove that the aliens are not out there, only that they are. But our ability to search improves with every technological innovation. I compare the situation to the year 1491. European civilization had been around for 2,500 years, yet the Americas were not on any map. Mesoamerican civilization, for its part, had been around for about as long, but also was ignorant of what lay over the oceans. With a glimpse and a shout from a sailor on the Pinta, everything changed.

    Seth Shostak is the senior astronomer at the SETI Institute. He chaired the International Academy of Astronautics’s SETI Permanent Study Group for a decade and hosts the SETI Institute’s weekly hour-long science radio show, “Big Picture Science.” He is the co-author of a textbook on astrobiology and of Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Follow him on Twitter @SethShostak.
    http://nautil.us/blog/why-well-have-...SS_Syndication
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  3. #273
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    More about Tabby's star. Looks like they ruled out a Dyson sphere, at least for the long term dimming. But not for the big short term dips first observed by Kepler. And they did find that sometimes the star brightens in the short term, something previously unobserved.


    New Observations Deepen Mystery of “Alien Megastructure” Star
    Orbiting dust could explain some—but not all—of the star’s bizarre behavior

    There's a prosaic explanation for at least some of the weirdness of "Tabby's star," it would appear.

    The bizarre long-term dimming of Tabby's star—also known as Boyajian's star, or, more formally, KIC 8462852—is likely caused by dust, not a giant network of solar panels or any other "megastructure" built by advanced aliens, a new study suggests.

    Astronomers came to this conclusion after noticing that this dimming was more pronounced in ultraviolet (UV) than infrared light. Any object bigger than a dust grain would cause uniform dimming across all wavelengths, study team members said.

    "This pretty much rules out the alien megastructure theory, as that could not explain the wavelength-dependent dimming," lead author Huan Meng of the University of Arizona said in a statement. "We suspect, instead, there is a cloud of dust orbiting the star with a roughly 700-day orbital period."


    STRANGE BRIGHTNESS DIPS

    KIC 8462852, which lies about 1,500 light-years from Earth, has generated a great deal of intrigue and speculation since 2015. That year, a team led by astronomer Tabetha Boyajian (hence the star's nicknames) reported that KIC 8462852 had dimmed dramatically several times over the past half-decade or so, once by 22 percent.

    No orbiting planet could cause such big dips, so researchers began coming up with possible alternative explanations. These included swarms of comets or comet fragments, interstellar dust and the famous (but unlikely) alien-megastructure hypothesis.

    The mystery deepened after the initial Boyajian et al. study. For example, other research groups found that, in addition to the occasional short-term brightness dips, Tabby's star dimmed overall by about 20 percent between 1890 and 1989. In addition, a 2016 paper determined that its brightness decreased by 3 percent from 2009 to 2013.

    The new study, which was published online Tuesday (Oct. 3) in The Astrophysical Journal, addresses such longer-term events.

    From January 2016 to December 2016, Meng and his colleagues (who include Boyajian) studied Tabby's star in infrared and UV light using NASA's Spitzer and Swift space telescopes, respectively. They also observed it in visible light during this period using the 27-inch-wide (68 centimeters) telescope at AstroLAB IRIS, a public observatory near the Belgian village of Zillebeke.

    The observed UV dip implicates circumstellar dust—grains large enough to stay in orbit around Tabby's star despite the radiation pressure but small enough that they don't block light uniformly in all wavelengths, the researchers said.


    MYSTERIES REMAIN

    The new study does not solve all of KIC 8462852's mysteries, however. For example, it does not address the short-term 20 percent brightness dips, which were detected by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. (Kepler is now observing a different part of the sky during its K2 extended mission and will not follow up on Tabby's star for the forseeable future.)

    And a different study—led by Joshua Simon of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Pasadena, California—just found that Tabby's star experienced two brightening spells over the past 11 years. (Simon and his colleagues also determined that the star has dimmed by about 1.5 percent from February 2015 to now.)

    "Up until this work, we had thought that the star's changes in brightness were only occurring in one direction—dimming," Simon said in a statement. "The realization that the star sometimes gets brighter in addition to periods of dimming is incompatible with most hypotheses to explain its weird behavior."

    You can read the Simon et al. study for free at the online preprint site arXiv.org.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...re-rdquo-star/
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  4. #274
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    I did not follow the bear star, I shun advice of my brothers. I did not study the signs of the heavens, I silenced the words of my sisters.
    I should have understood, I should have seen it coming. The signs on the road had changed, the fires on the mountain died.
    Why did I shun the advice of brothers? Why did I silence the words of sisters?

  5. #275
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    I've read some sci-fi where organisms were revived from way-back-when that turned out to be pathogens and (nearly) everyone died as a result. And I've seen sci-fi ad nauseum about dormant (and non-dormant) organisms found in space/ meteors/ Mars/ Moon, wherever-the-fuck else, also revived to threaten/ succeed in killing (nearly) everyone.

    I have no idea if reviving ancient Earth microorganisms is fraught with danger or not. I'm not particularly worried about it. Something's going to get us all some day, either one at a time, or maybe all at once. So whatever...

    But, if Mars had life, it might be found in a state like this, so the research and techniques are relevant to that search. I'm sure they'll be very careful about contamination if they ever find anything.
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  6. #276
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    ESO confirms Earth was recently trolled by interstellar dick-pic:

    http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1737/
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  7. #277
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    ESO confirms Earth was recently trolled by interstellar dick-pic:

    http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1737/
    I think it's a star ship. It's drifting through to take a look around, was hoping not to be noticed. Either that or the crew's dead.
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  8. #278
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Looks like NASA's been studying the artificial magnetosphere idea for Mars. They mention in the article using the same idea to protect spacecraft crews from the solar wind too. Probably better than physical shielding in terms of cost, weight, etc.

    http://nautil.us/blog/how-to-give-ma...SS_Syndication
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  9. #279
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I think it's a star ship. It's drifting through to take a look around, was hoping not to be noticed. Either that or the crew's dead.
    Looks like others have got the same idea. This from SciAm today.

    It appears that if this thing is naturally occurring, it's an extraordinarily rare fluke in in it's odd shape, apparent solid composition, in the lack of out-gassing as it passed so near the sun, and in that it was spotted at all. All these together means that either this really is an ultra-rare event or some assumptions about interstellar objects will need to be revised.

    Or we've just been scouted by aliens that didn't want to be noticed. (fingers crossed )

    Alien Probe or Galactic Driftwood? SETI Tunes In to 'Oumuamua
    It’s a long shot, but scientists are about to listen very closely for radio signals from our solar system’s first known interstellar visitor

    Ever since its discovery in mid-October as it passed by Earth already outbound from our solar system, the mysterious object dubbed ‘Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “first messenger”) has left scientists utterly perplexed. Zooming down almost perpendicularly inside Mercury’s orbit at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour—too fast for our star’s gravity to catch—‘Oumuamua appeared to have been dropped in on our solar system from some great interstellar height, picking up even more speed on a slingshot-like loop around the sun before soaring away for parts unknown. It is now already halfway to Jupiter, too far for a rendezvous mission and rapidly fading from the view of Earth’s most powerful telescopes.

    Astronomers scrambling to glimpse the fading object have revealed additional oddities. ‘Oumuamua was never seen to sprout a comet-like tail after getting close to the sun, hinting it is not a relatively fresh bit of icy flotsam from the outskirts of a nearby star system. This plus its deep red coloration—which mirrors that of some cosmic-ray-bombarded objects in our solar system—suggested that ‘Oumuamua could be an asteroid from another star. Yet those same observations also indicate ‘Oumuamua might be shaped rather like a needle, up to 800 meters long and only 80 wide, spinning every seven hours and 20 minutes. That would mean it is like no asteroid ever seen before, instead resembling the collision-minimizing form favored in many designs for notional interstellar probes. What’s more, it is twirling at a rate that could tear a loosely-bound rubble pile apart. Whatever ‘Oumuamua is, it appears to be quite solid—likely composed of rock, or even metal—seemingly tailor-made to weather long journeys between stars. So far there are few if any wholly satisfactory explanations as to how such an extremely elongated solid object could naturally form, let alone endure the forces of a natural high-speed ejection from a star system—a process thought to involve a wrenching encounter with a giant planet.

    These bizarre characteristics have raised eyebrows among professional practitioners of SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, who use large radio telescopes to listen for interstellar radio transmissions from other cosmic civilizations. If ‘Oumuamua is in fact artificial, the reasoning goes, it might be transmitting or at least leaking radio waves.

    So far limited observations of ‘Oumuamua, using facilities such as the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array, have turned up nothing. But this Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time, the Breakthrough Listen project will aim the West Virgina-based 100-meter Green Bank Telescope at ‘Oumuamua for 10 hours of observations in a wide range of radio frequencies, scanning the object across its entire rotation in search of any signals. Breakthrough Listen is part of billionaire Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Initiatives program, a collection of lavishly-funded efforts aiming to uncover evidence of life elsewhere in the universe. Other projects include Breakthrough Starshot, which intends to develop and launch interstellar probes, as well as Breakthrough Watch, which would use large telescopes to study exoplanets for signs of life.

    “With our equipment at Green Bank, we can detect a signal the strength of a mobile phone coming out of this object,” Milner says. “We don’t want to be sensational in any way, and we are very realistic about the chances this is artificial, but because this is a unique situation we think mankind can afford 10 hours of observing time using the best equipment on the planet to check a low-probability hypothesis.” Besides being simply a search for signs of aliens, Breakthrough Listen’s efforts could also narrow down the possibilities for ‘Oumuamua’s composition by looking for signs of water vapor sublimating from any sun-warmed ice lurking beneath the object’s red, desiccated surface.

    Avi Loeb, an astrophysicist and Breakthrough advisor at Harvard University who helped persuade Milner to pursue the observations, is similarly pessimistic about prospects for uncovering aliens. There are, he says, arguments against its artificial origins. For one thing, its estimated spin rate seems too low to create useful amounts of “artificial gravity” for anything onboard. Furthermore, ‘Oumuamua shows no sign of moving due to rocketry or other technology, instead following an orbit shaped by the gravitational force of the sun. Its speed relative to the solar system (about 20 kilometers per second) also seems rather slow for any interstellar probe, which presumably would cruise at higher speeds for faster trips between stars. But that pace aligns perfectly with those of typical nearby stars—suggesting ‘Oumuamua might be merely a piece of galactic “driftwood” washed up by celestial currents.

    Then again, Loeb says, “perhaps the aliens have a mothership that travels fast and releases baby spacecraft that freely fall into planetary system on a reconnaissance mission. In such a case, we might be able to intercept a communication signal between the different spacecraft.”

    Several years ago Loeb and two colleagues performed a speculative calculation estimating the interstellar abundance of ‘Oumuamua-sized space rocks based on the density of stars in the Milky Way and the vagaries of planet formation. That calculation, Loeb says, suggests the number of such space rocks is at least a hundred thousand times too low to account for ‘Oumuamua’s detection. Simply put, objects like ‘Oumuamua should be far too rare for our current telescopes to have any reasonable chance of spotting one. Newer studies gauging the odds find that for ‘Oumuamua’s detection to not be an astronomically unlikely fluke, there must be a sizeable population of such objects continuously passing through our solar system. This in turn suggests that more-capable future observatories, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, will find many more when they begin operations in the 2020s.

    “Typically in astronomy we don’t see things that are rare—if we see one, that means there’s a lot more out there,” says Breakthrough Listen’s lead scientist Andrew Siemion, who is also director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center. “So, while this is most likely a natural object, if we don’t eventually see any more, that would indeed be very strange and would increase interest from a SETI perspective.”

    Either way, Siemion says, “‘Oumuamua’s presence within our solar system affords Breakthrough Listen an opportunity to reach unprecedented sensitivities to possible artificial transmitters and demonstrate our ability to track nearby, fast-moving objects. Whether this object turns out to be artificial or natural, it’s a great target.”

    And if, against all odds, the Green Bank Telescope detects signals from this mysterious interstellar interloper—what happens then? Breakthrough Listen’s leaders assure us they would keep no secrets. First, the team at Green Bank would immediately re-observe ‘Oumuamua to confirm the signal. Next, they would reach out to astronomers around the world who could target the object with other radio telescopes. “We quite literally have a little Rolodex just for that,” Siemion says. “And at that moment this would become public. There’s no way to keep something like this a secret, because it requires us calling everyone we can. We tend not to ‘cry wolf’ about these things.”
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...n-to-oumuamua/
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  10. #280
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Well yeah come on it's basically the beginning of Rendezvous With Rama I hope they send some signals at it too.
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  11. #281
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Well yeah come on it's basically the beginning of Rendezvous With Rama I hope they send some signals at it too.
    No harm in signalling it, I guess. They know we're here. It's still possible it's a derelict, too.
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  12. #282
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    So far, after 1 of 4 planned observations, no obvious signals. Must be a derelict.


    https://newatlas.com/radio-oumuamua-...r-probe/52640/

    The SETI initiative Breakthrough Listen has announced that preliminary observations of the first known interstellar asteroid show no sign that the 400 m (1,300 ft)-long object is anything other than natural. No directed or broadcast radio transmissions have been detected from `Oumuamua (A/2017 U1), but observations and analysis continue.

    It was a long shot, but scientists at Breakthrough Listen couldn't pass up on the chance that the first detected interstellar visitor to the Solar System might be more than it seemed. Earth-based telescopic observations of `Oumuamua after it was discovered on October 19, 2017 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala indicated that the object was on an open-ended hyperbolic course that had already brought it to within 0.25 AU (23 million mi, 37 million km) of the Sun in September, and that it was speeding back into deep space at 95,000 km/h (59,000 mph).

    But what intrigued Breakthrough Listen was that the object is a rocky or metallic spindle and that this shape could mean that `Oumuamua is artificial. Not wanting to miss the chance that it was an alien spacecraft similar to Sir Arthur C Clarke's fictional Rama, the scientists turned the Breakthrough Listen backend instrument on the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia on `Oumuamua.

    The first of four planned observation blocks was conducted on December 13 from 3:45 pm to 9:45 pm EST. The scan was of the L, S, X, and C radio bands that consist of several billion radio bands between 1 and 12 GHz. After calibration, 90 TB of raw data was recorded over a two-hour period. This was then sent through the Breakthrough Listen "turboSETI" pipeline software to seek out signals that are drifting in their frequency. This allows the scientists to pick out intelligent signals while eliminating those caused by the asteroid's motion distorting background radio signals and human interference.

    Though there are more observations to be made and more analysis to be carried out, Breakthrough Listen says that no intelligent signals have been found so far. However, the study is ongoing and the organization invites the public to inspect a subset of the S-band data for themselves with the help of an online tutorial.
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  13. #283
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    The latest word on the Tabby's Star megastructure. Not looking good for the alien hypothesis.

    https://www.space.com/39263-alien-me...adline+Feed%29
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  14. #284
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Speaking of aliens...

    A few interesting points in this article. There's some (sketchy, IMO) extrapolation of technological progress that suggest alien civilizations 200+ years older than ours ought to be able to detect our airport radar signals. Huh. So we've had strong airport radar since, when, earliest is late 1940s, so that bubble is about 75 light years out. Of course if they can detect those, our radio has to be, uh, on their radar too, for another forty light years give or take....

    Also, the article highlights a guy who thinks we'll detect alien signals by 2028ish. I wonder.... And what if we don't? Yeah, Fermi Paradox again. And then there's what if we do? I predict very little will change here as a direct result. As a species, we are hopelessly flawed, I fear.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ut-about-them/
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  15. #285
    Senior Member BalticSailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Of course if they can detect those, our radio has to be, uh, on their radar too, for another forty light years give or take....
    If they decide to listen, sure. Radar frequencies and signal modulation modes differ from those used in radio comms. Power, too, at least, in our earlier radio days. That might make a huge difference for a civilization that is looking for *a* signal, as opposed to a particular kind of signal.

    Hell, if we were to find an alien signal, we might spend ages trying to decipher something that actually is caused by an immensely powerful microwave oven (meant as a metaphor for something generating a really powerful signal, which carries no actual information, or even might have no pattern).
    It would be nice if we could get to a place where our community didn’t need a constant stream of fresh corpses to remind it how to behave.

    "Science and faith are fundamentally incompatible, and for precisely the same reason that irrationality and rationality are incompatible. They are different forms of inquiry, with only one, science, equipped to find real truth. And while they may have a dialogue, it's not a constructive one. Science helps religion only by disproving its claims, while religion has nothing to add to science." - J.A.Coyne

  16. #286
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    A meteor blew up in the sky not far from my home last night - bright fireball, sonic boom causing a 2.0 earthquake. I missed it completely. Fuck.

    https://www.space.com/39403-michigan...adline+Feed%29
    The Rules
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  17. #287
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    A meteor blew up in the sky not far from my home last night - bright fireball, sonic boom causing a 2.0 earthquake. I missed it completely. Fuck.

    https://www.space.com/39403-michigan...adline+Feed%29
    I was actually wondering about you when I saw news of it Choobs.

  18. #288
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    I was actually wondering about you when I saw news of it Choobs.
    News said if you want to try to find fragments, go to Mount Clemens. That's about 40 miles from home as the crow flies. I thought it was closer. Anyway, I'd say that was a once in a life-time event - and I missed it entirely.
    The Rules
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    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
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  19. #289
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Good article about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch.

    The discussion about NASA's space launch system has me wondering if maybe NASA won't/shouldn't be in the rocket development business anymore. The question hinges, I guess, on whether commercial efforts are robust enough to handle the full spectrum of launch needs going forward. Also, I like Musk's comment, there's "a real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit." A success in his mind is if it destroys itself far enough from the launch pad not to damage it. He's obviously playing down expectations, but I wonder what the odds off success really are.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/22/s...elon-musk.html
    The Rules
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  20. #290
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Oooo. It's launching today. Window opens at 130pm, Eastern Time, and you can watch it live streamed from Space.com, and probably lots of other places. This article details a bunch of what could go wrong. Nice read...


    https://www.space.com/39605-spacex-f...adline+Feed%29
    The Rules
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  21. #291
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Oooo. It's launching today. Window opens at 130pm, Eastern Time, and you can watch it live streamed from Space.com, and probably lots of other places. This article details a bunch of what could go wrong. Nice read...


    https://www.space.com/39605-spacex-f...adline+Feed%29
    Looks like they are shooting for a 3:15 PM ET launch currently.

    EDIT

    Make that 3:45
    Last edited by Enoch the Red; 02-06-2018 at 05:56 PM.

  22. #292
    That's no moon. EyeKhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch the Red View Post
    Looks like they are shooting for a 3:15 PM ET launch currently.

    EDIT

    Make that 3:45
    Just finished the live coverage. Success! The only thing unknown right now is if the core rocket landed on the drone ship successfully or not. But otherwise, the launch was an unqualified success. Woo hoo!
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
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    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  23. #293
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  24. #294
    Unencrypted Wraith's Avatar
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    I don't think those landings will ever stop impressing me.

  25. #295
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Core was used to launch secret mission, trying to cover up evidence.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  26. #296
    Resiste et Mords! Steely Glint's Avatar
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    I did not follow the bear star, I shun advice of my brothers. I did not study the signs of the heavens, I silenced the words of my sisters.
    I should have understood, I should have seen it coming. The signs on the road had changed, the fires on the mountain died.
    Why did I shun the advice of brothers? Why did I silence the words of sisters?

  27. #297
    Senior Member RandBlade's Avatar
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    Incredible, the twin landings gave me goosebumps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Being upset is understandable, but be upset at yourself for poor planning, not at the world by acting like a spoiled bitch during an interview.

  28. #298
    Senior Member Enoch the Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandBlade View Post
    Incredible, the twin landings gave me goosebumps.
    I always get slightly choked up for some inexplicable reason.

  29. #299
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    It's because they come back.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    — Bill Gates

  30. #300
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Awesome. Incredible. A technical triumph.

    A real pity the third ran out of fuel and smashed into the sea at 500km/h. But it's all learning experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    It's actually the original French billion, which is bi-million, which is a million to the power of 2. We adopted the word, and then they changed it, presumably as revenge for Crecy and Agincourt, and then the treasonous Americans adopted the new French usage and spread it all over the world. And now we have to use it.

    And that's Why I'm Voting Leave.

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