'Strong signal' stirs interest in hunt for alien life

August 29, 2016
This is the "South Pillar" region of the star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope "busted open" this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust. Credit: NASA

A "strong signal" detected by a radio telescope in Russia that is scanning the heavens for signs of extraterrestrial life has stirred interest among the scientific community.

"No one is claiming that this is the work of an extraterrestrial civilization, but it is certainly worth further study," said Paul Gilster, author of the Centauri Dreams website which covers peer-reviewed research on deep space exploration.

The signal is from the direction of a HD164595, a star about 95 light-years from Earth.

The star is known to have at least one planet, and may have more.

The observation is being made public now, but was actually detected last year by the RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia, he said.

Experts say it is far too early to know what the signal means or where, precisely,it came from.

"But the signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target," wrote Gilster.

The discovery is expected to feature in discussions at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27.

"Working out the strength of the signal, the researchers say that if it came from an isotropic beacon, it would be of a power possible only for a Kardashev Type II civilization," Gilster wrote, referring to a scale-system that indicates a civilization far more advanced than our own.

"If it were a narrow beam signal focused on our Solar System, it would be of a power available to a Kardashev Type I civilization," indicating one closer to Earth's capabilities.

Gilster, who broke the story on August 27, said he had seen a presentation on the matter from Italian astronomer Claudio Maccone.

"Permanent monitoring of this target is needed," said the presentation.

Nick Suntzeff, a Texas A&M University astronomer told the online magazine Ars Technica that the 11 gigahertz signal was observed in part of the radio spectrum used by the military.

"If this were a real astronomical source, it would be rather strange," Suntzeff was quoted as saying.

"God knows who or what broadcasts at 11Ghz, and it would not be out of the question that some sort of bursting communication is done between ground stations and satellites," Suntzeff said.

"I would follow it if I were the astronomers, but I would also not hype the fact that it may be at SETI signal given the significant chance it could be something military."

Explore further: No extraterrestrial laser pulses detected from KIC 8462852, SETI reports

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32 comments

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jalmy
1 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2016
This was a signal seen by a single team at a single telescope and it lasted 2 seconds. They have had over a year to observe this body since then. If it was relevant we surely would know by now. What is the point of this article?
tinitus
Aug 29, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperfuzzy
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2016
Well if it's military surely it can be so defined, even without knowledge of encryption. We only play with the freq, or the phase, within and outside the available partitioning of the signals. So I would look for multiple signals over the entire spectrum, to understand I would look for any multi-user type of signal.
Osiris1
1 / 5 (8) Aug 29, 2016
The ONLY reason this is made 'public' is that someone, something, or some government is going to tattle and spill the beans, or our folks do not want to look like the utter fools they are. This is probably real as well, or it would have been buried long ago by professional pathoskeptiks at all levels of governments who have something to lose by being forced into a space race they did not want. Heavens!! Bureaucrats, plutocrats, and kleptocrats would then have to divert funds away from crooked pockets and into the needs of the public; and needs of our species to find a second planetary home (Proxima Centauri B), or to see who may be 'out there'. Who knows how many OTHER signals have been buried and for whom there was no one like Julian Assange to protect the interests of our species. This casual burying of pertinent facts may have been going on for a VERY long time with many nations involved, especially before the advent of the Internet.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2016
The star is known to have at least one planet, and may have more.
Yup, HD 164595 b, it's a warm Neptune, 0.05 mass_Jupiter, circular orbital period of 40 days. Found that info here, and there's also a graph showing the raw signal.
Interestingly enough, the nearby UFO evidence never bothers these chaps so much ...
Funny, what do you propose they could find locally with an instrument designed to observe outer space?
Hyperfuzzy
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2016
The point is dB & S/N, & Directional , source, guess? BW, Amplitude, Phase, Multi-f, control matrix, you figure it out. OK got the f to text, WTF???? Get it?
Thorium Boy
2 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2016
No one trusts anything from Russians. This reminds me when they claimed to have achieved temperatures of 5 billion degrees in the lab using "Ogra Injection Mirror Equipment." Is was nonsense.
jalmy
4 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2016
The point is dB & S/N, & Directional , source, guess? BW, Amplitude, Phase, Multi-f, control matrix, you figure it out. OK got the f to text, WTF???? Get it?


Bro. English is a virtue.
jonesdave
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2016
And the people at SETI think this is nothing to get excited about:
https://setiathom...id=80193

"All in all, it's relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint."
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Proto, tinitus, and everyone! :)

Just came in to say hello. Been very busy with my own work off-line. Just reading through again today, and saw this from you, to tinitus, Proto:
Interestingly enough, the nearby UFO evidence never bothers these chaps so much ...
Funny, what do you propose they could find locally with an instrument designed to observe outer space?
Didn't the latest report say that it could have been a military signal bouncing back from a satellite randomly crossing the signal path?

If so, then that particular "instrument designed to observe outer space" apparently did detect something going on "locally", didn't it?

Which would be the exact opposite of what the Microwave 'horn antenna' designed for "local" communications did when it found something "from outer space", ie the CMB!

Serendipity is a fine thing in observational systems design and practice, hey!

Cheers. :)
Hyperfuzzy
not rated yet Sep 03, 2016
OK, but we don't have this capability, i.e. the description of a beacon from outer space.
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Sep 03, 2016
Funny, what do you propose they could find locally with an instrument designed to observe the stars?
If so [military, local origin], then that particular "instrument designed to observe outer space" apparently did detect something going on "locally", didn't it?
For a guy who's so picky in his words/phrases/terms/descriptions, how is it you're having such difficulty with "find" and the term you morphed it into, "detect"? And why does using something so big and unwieldy to detect a local signal make any sense to you?
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Proto. :)

Whoa, mate; why the antagonistic tone? I said "Serendipity", not "specific design" for such detections/findings. And there is such a thing as unintended multi-functional overlap in many systems; most of the time these 'overlaps' have to be actively filtered so that the intended signal reception is not swamped by unwanted extraneous signal detections.

Surely you are the one being nit-picky and semantical in the face of reasonable post pointing out that serendipity and unintended consequences happen all the time, despite original design parameters.

I even gave the reverse-case example of the horn antenna which serendipitously also picked up outer space sourced microwaves (CMB), despite the horn antenna being designed/oriented to pick up "locally" sourced Microwave signals.

Proto, please don't take your frustrations out on me when it is you being the nit-pick etc in this case.

I was polite, factual and gave examples. No call to be nasty, ok, mate?

Cheers! :)
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
@ Really-Skippy. How you are Cher? I am good, thanks for asking. I was getting to be worried for you. Are you better now? Anyhoo, try not to frustrate the humans and scientists too much in one go, work up to easy like so you don't have a relapse again.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Uncle Ira. :)

I see that your bot-like insensible state of stupidity and maliciously malfunctioning microcephaly has not improved at all, mate.

Maybe it's time you tried to free yourself from that bot-voting program; it's taken control of you and is eating whatever last few functioning brain cells you may have possessed before you were ensnared by your bot-voting program.

I see not much has changed here (especially in your 'peculiar' case) since I started to concentrate more on off-line work, Ira. Too bad. Get better soon. :)

PS: Don't let the Zika Virus get you, Ira! With the already shrunken head syndrome which appears endemic where you live, you don't need an additional cause of shrunken head syndrome for your next generation of 'little Ira skippys'!

PPS: In all seriousness, though, Zika Virus is making fast progress through Florida and heading your way. Take care (as if you didn't already have enough to worry about, what with hurricanes/rainstorms, malaria etc).
Uncle Ira
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2016
I'll overlook all the really mean stuffs you wrote because just get back and probably might not be totally well yet.

PS: Don't let the Zika Virus get you, Ira! With the already shrunken head syndrome which appears endemic where you live, you don't need an additional cause of shrunken head syndrome for your next generation of 'little Ira skippys'!
I do what I can and don't worry over much with things out of my control.

PPS: In all seriousness, though, Zika Virus is making fast progress through Florida and heading your way. Take care (as if you didn't already have enough to worry about, what with hurricanes/rainstorms, malaria etc).
Can't do anything about the maringouin, they were here a long time before us humans ever come on the scene. The hurricanes and storms too, I can not stop either, eh? But at least I am ready for them as much as I can be.
Phys1
5 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2016
No one trusts anything from Russians. This reminds me when they claimed to have achieved temperatures of 5 billion degrees in the lab using "Ogra Injection Mirror Equipment." Is was nonsense.

Be careful, there are many excellent Russian physicists.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Ira. :)

Yeah, overlook the truth about yourself and your behavior here, Ira. That's just what one would expect from one who is so dumb that he now depends on his bot-voting program to tell him what to vote and even tie his sholaces for him some mornings when his last two brain cells haven't fully woken up yet. But still you log on here along with your master the bot-voting program, and show us all again just how dumb and malicious a couyon from the land of couyons can be.

PS: How's that for "mean", Ira? :)

PPS: Mate, if you can't take it then don't dish it out. Ok? That should be so simple a 'lesson' that even an internet age bot-voting moron like you can 'get' if he applied both his functioning brain cells to the task. Take extra care of those last two brain cells, Ira; and don't let that bot program take over those too often, or you might become the "bot zombie" of Louisiana! Not what you want to become 'famous' for, mate! :)
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
PS: How's that for "mean", Ira? :)
Pretty lame since you are asking me.

PPS: Mate, if you can't take it then don't dish it out. Ok?
Cher you keep that up the docs are probably going to rethink letting you out again.

Take extra care of those last two brain cells, Ira; and don't let that bot program take over those too often,
Well okayeei, I will take extra good care of them.

or you might become the "bot zombie" of Louisiana!
I been called a lot worse, you'll have to work harder Cher. Would that be as bad as being known as the "Earthman from Penguin Head Street"?

Not what you want to become 'famous' for, mate! :)
Too late for that. Everybody down here knows me good already. I am not famous, but a lot of peoples know me.
Protoplasmix
4 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
You're right, RC, you should correspond with the scientists at once and inform them the noise that interferes with their science is a blessing in disguise and they should ask for funding to start a project called the Search for Anomalous Local Terrestrial Interference, i.e., SALTI. Or maybe Serendipitous Terrestrial Unidentified Positive Interference Detection, I dunno, your call.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Ira. :)

Your stupidity levels are through the roof today. Get back to us after you have learned the age old lesson:
If you can't take it then don't dish it out".


I know it'll take your last surviving brain cells a long time to assimilate that lesson, but:
"nil desperandum!"
--------as they say, especially when trying to get through to internet bot-voting morons like you, Ira.

Nasty begets nasty, Ira. And stupid begets patient humoring and lessons to try to get through that stupid, Ira.

Wake up, you internet idiot. :)

RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Proto. :)
You're right, RC, you should correspond with the scientists at once and inform them the noise that interferes with their science is a blessing in disguise and they should ask for funding to start a project called the Search for Anomalous Local Terrestrial Interference, i.e., SALTI. Or maybe Serendipitous Terrestrial Unidentified Positive Interference Detection, I dunno, your call.

Are youy serious, mate! Have you even the faintest notion of just how MANY important and revolutionary discoveries/advances have come about due to serendipitous and unexpected events and interference and other 'anomalous' things which made the curious and scientific observer go "whoa! where did that come from?" or "that's funny!" etc etc.

Proto, seriously, read the relevant science history of serendipitous/unintended consequence generated discovery before you persist in untenable rationalizations against what I validly pointed out in my previous posts. Cheers. :)
Phys1
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2016
@RC
Your comments about Zika are insensitive.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2016
Hi Phys1. :)
@RC
Your comments about Zika are insensitive.

Not at all, mate. I wrote the PPS to Ira on purpose, to warn him of the serious threat heading his way from Florida. The comments were in the same vein as the comments he makes about others in 'bad taste'. At least I knew they may be taken as 'bad taste' by folk such as yourself who do have sensibility; which is why I stressed in my PPS how seriously I took the threat of Zika in places such as Louisiana which is 'mosquito heaven' where such a virus can become endemic and catastrophic when added to all the other serious diseases/vectors in that region.

But thanks for caring enough to try and point it out, Phys1; it shows you have your heart and mind in their right place. Cheers. :)
Protoplasmix
3 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2016
Have you even the faintest notion ...
I guess none of my notions are as faint as yours, got me there.
Protoplasmix
3 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2016
Hi, I'm RealityCheck and I just popped in to say hello... And I hope you get shrinking-head disease, you're already brain-dead anyway. Cheers :)
See how you are?
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2016
Hi Protoplasmix. :)
Have you even the faintest notion ...
I guess none of my notions are as faint as yours, got me there.
Mate, you evade the point I made and subsequently also clarified so as to forestall any further misunderstandings of it. But you intentionally misunderstand it in order to take an uncalled for 'cheap shot' at me. Very disappointing.
Hi, I'm RealityCheck and I just popped in to say hello... And I hope you get shrinking-head disease, you're already brain-dead anyway. Cheers :)
See how you are?
Proto! Stop! Mate, you just did to me exactly what Phys1 accused Benni of doing to him! Are you really going to go down that route, Proto? If so, then you lose all credibility from all 'sides'. Don't do it, mate. Be better than those whom you criticize. Ok?

Anyhow, no offense taken, mate. Cheers. :)
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2016
you evade the point I made and subsequently also clarified so as to forestall any further misunderstandings of it. But you intentionally misunderstand it in order to take an uncalled for 'cheap shot' at me. Very disappointing.
I understand your point and it's not germane to Zephyr's point, that the scientists are somehow ignoring local "evidence" for aliens.

I guess you don't see that because you're too focused on finding something wrong with my reply. I tried to address your point and show you why it's not germane to my reply to Zeph. You don't see that either.

You think I don't have the faintest notion, and you said so. And that's what prompted me to paraphrase what happens in every thread you show up in: "Hi, just here to say hello, can't stay... you're all wrong... aw, don't be such poor sports about it, Cheers :)"

cont'd >
Protoplasmix
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2016
> cont'd

Others advise ignoring you, RC, but I learn new things in almost every refutation.

Thanks to you, in this thread I learned how easy it is to do some very fancy RF spectrum analysis (from 1 MHz to 6 GHz), and how very cool Software Defined Radio is to work with using just a smartphone, antenna, and some hardware like the HackRF. I doubt you see why that's germane, but thanks anyway.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2016
Hi Proto.:)

Why so touchy, mate? Can't you take honest critique of your statements like you expect others to take yours? Be a good sport, hey? :)

Anyhow, my original point was nothing to do with Zephyr's point per se about "aliens"; it was to do with your implied claim that apparatuses designed for "outer space" signal detections couldn't detect "local" signals. I pointed out that serendipitous designs could do both and may have to be filtered appropriately to 'remove' one or other signals in analysis. I even gave an example of the reverse situation re Horn Antenna detecting "outer space" (CMB) signals as well as the designed-for "local" signals.

So, your original implication to Zephir was incorrect in fact; followed by your evasion of my subsequent point re serendipitous design/discovery being common/important contributor to advancement of science.

And as Planck study paper explains, many-stepped analytical techniques/assumptions play a huge part in interpreting data. :)
Hyperfuzzy
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2016
Hi Proto.:)

Why so touchy, mate? Can't you take honest critique of your statements like you expect others to take yours? Be a good sport, hey? :)

...

And as Planck study paper explains, many-stepped analytical techniques/assumptions play a huge part in interpreting data. :)

What does this have to do with a year old Russian signal shared with the world, 'cause Russians don't spy on Americans, have to do with the actual signal, i.e. nothing you add is an existence proof, other than the existence of the signal. I think is unlikely earthly, not logical. If so, we are idiots, why publish?
Protoplasmix
not rated yet Sep 06, 2016
Post totals for this thread, finally found one I'm in...

jalmy: posts=2; 2.5 / 5 (9)
tinitus: posts=1; 1 / 5 (12)
Hyperfuzzy: posts=4; 2.5 / 5 (8)
Osiris1: posts=1; 1 / 5 (8)
Protoplasmix: posts=7; 4.3 / 5 (17)
Thorium Boy: posts=1; 2 / 5 (4)
jonesdave: posts=1; 4.3 / 5 (6)
RealityCheck: posts=9; 1 / 5 (19)
Uncle Ira: posts=3; 2.7 / 5 (11)
Phys1: posts=2; 4.3 / 5 (8)

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