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Radio Wave Emission from Proxima Centauri being investigated by scientists

Flyaway

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Astronomers behind the most extensive search yet for alien life are investigating an intriguing radio wave emission that appears to have come from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the sun.

The narrow beam of radio waves was picked up during 30 hours of observations by the Parkes telescope in Australia in April and May last year, the Guardian understands. Analysis of the beam has been under way for some time and scientists have yet to identify a terrestrial culprit such as ground-based equipment or a passing satellite.

It is usual for astronomers on the $100m (£70m) Breakthrough Listen project to spot strange blasts of radio waves with the Parkes telescope or the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, but all so far have been attributed to human-made interference or natural sources.

 

Foo Fighter

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Something has to explain how mrs McDowell is now heading for Proxima Centauri instead of the supermarket, by taxi. The tip alone is going to sting.
 

Michel Van

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Looking in Wiki i found
980Mhz is in 33 cm band, better know as UHF
in Australia 980Mhz is not used for Communication or Television broadcasting in UHF.
not official...
Could be used by Amateur radio communication
 

Flyaway

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This is what happens when a story like this is leaked to the media before the team is able to finish their analysis and publish their results in a paper. Everyone wanders around half in the dark trying to guess at things.
 

Flyaway

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Seems there is another new paper due on the WOW signal soon.

The second thing is that this is a transient, meaning it’s short-lived, and it hasn’t repeated. That gets us into tricky territory, for the SETI effort has detected numerous transients over the years, and the lack of repetition has made confirmation of their origin difficult if not impossible. The most famous is the Wow! signal detected at Ohio State in 1977, a signal that continues to inspire research, as we’re about to see in a new paper that considers some of its more unusual aspects. But more on that within a few weeks.

 

Flyaway

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BLC-1 signal recently discovered at 982.000MHz: https://www.scientificamerican.com/...over-mysterious-signal-from-proxima-centauri/
That's also the wavelength (982MHz) of the Intel Stratix 10 FPGA: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/programmable/us/en/pdfs/literature/sg/product-catalog.pdf as well as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB GDDR6 with ROG Boost (Base: 982 MHz) and Fermi DVFS (982 MHz at 0.981V): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352864816300736

 

Michel Van

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Would be not the first time that happen at the Parkes telescope in Australia
before BLC-1 was also Perytons Signal in 1998
Caused by bad use of the facility's microwave oven...
 

FighterJock

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Would be not the first time that happen at the Parkes telescope in Australia
before BLC-1 was also Perytons Signal in 1998
Caused by bad use of the facility's microwave oven...

I remember that report, let's hope that this time it is not down to someone having their lunch. But on a more serious note what happens if it does turn out to be a signal from ET on Proxima Centauri B? How will the scientists go about announcing the discovery to the World?
 

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Would be not the first time that happen at the Parkes telescope in Australia
before BLC-1 was also Perytons Signal in 1998
Caused by bad use of the facility's microwave oven...

I remember that report, let's hope that this time it is not down to someone having their lunch. But on a more serious note what happens if it does turn out to be a signal from ET on Proxima Centauri B? How will the scientists go about announcing the discovery to the World?

Aliens found ? E.T speaking from home ? Well, it would make a fitting end for crazy whacky 2020 year... :eek::eek::eek::eek:
 

Dilandu

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I remember that report, let's hope that this time it is not down to someone having their lunch. But on a more serious note what happens if it does turn out to be a signal from ET on Proxima Centauri B? How will the scientists go about announcing the discovery to the World?

It would not be the single shocking revelation. It would be a very-very long string of articles, slowly eliminating other possibilities (and journalists would claim "scientists confirmed alien life!" to each one, of course), until at some point there would be the resulting conclusion "we have no other explanation left besides it being from aritificial source in Proxima Centauri system" from the majority of scientific community.
 

Foo Fighter

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It seems to me that the research people every now and then just throw a tidbit into the water to scare up more funding. Much the same through most industries.
 
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Michel Van

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The chance of intelligent live at Proxima and Alpha Centaury are high !
Proxima Centaury has Earth size planet that orbit in habitably zone of Star
around 10000 Astronomical Units away is double Star Alpha Centaury
two sun like stars orbit each other far enough to planets in Stable orbit

I hope that TESS find some planets there
 

FighterJock

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The chance of intelligent live at Proxima and Alpha Centaury are high !
Proxima Centaury has Earth size planet that orbit in habitably zone of Star
around 10000 Astronomical Units away is double Star Alpha Centaury
two sun like stars orbit each other far enough to planets in Stable orbit

I hope that TESS find some planets there

Let's hope so Michel Van, I too would like TESS do discover planets around both stars in the Alpha Centauri system.
 

Justo Miranda

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https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200602/history.cfm



February 1968: The Discovery of Pulsars Announced

In 1967, when Jocelyn Bell, then a graduate student in astronomy, noticed a strange “bit of scruff” in the data coming from her radio telescope, she and her advisor Anthony Hewish initially thought they might have detected a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization. It turned out not be aliens, but it was still quite exciting: they had discovered the first pulsar. They announced their discovery in February 1968.

Bell, who was born in Ireland in 1943, was inspired by her high school physics teacher to study science, and went to Cambridge to pursue her Ph.D. in astronomy. Bell’s project, with advisor Anthony Hewish, involved using a new technique, interplanetary scintillation, to observe quasars. Because quasars scintillate more than other objects, Hewish thought the technique would be a good way to study them, and he designed a radio telescope to do so.

Working at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, near Cambridge, starting in 1965 Bell spent about two years building the new telescope, with the help of several other students. Together they hammered over 1000 posts, strung over 2000 dipole antennas between them, and connected it all up with 120 miles of wire and cable. The finished telescope covered an area of about four and a half acres.

They started operating the telescope in July 1967, while construction was still going on. Bell had responsibility for operating the telescope and analyzing the data — nearly 100 feet of paper every day–by hand. She soon learned to recognize scintillating sources and interference.

Within a few weeks Bell noticed something odd in the data, what she called a bit of “scruff.” The signal didn’t look quite like a scintillating source or like manmade interference. She soon realized it was a regular signal, consistently coming from the same patch of sky.

No known natural sources would produce such a signal. Bell and Hewish began to rule out various sources of human interference, including other radio astronomers, radar reflected off the moon, television signals, orbiting satellites, and even possible effects from a large corrugated metal building near the telescope. None of those could explain the strange signal.

The signal, a series of sharp pulses that came every 1.3 seconds, seemed too fast to be coming from anything like a star. Bell and Hewish jokingly called the new source LGM-1, for “Little Green Men.” (It was later renamed.)

But soon they managed to rule out extraterrestrial life as the source of the signal, when Bell noticed another similar signal, this time a series of pulses arriving 1.2 seconds apart, coming from an entirely different area of the sky. It seemed quite unlikely that two separate groups of aliens were trying to communicate with them at the same time, from completely different locations. Over Christmas 1967, Bell noticed two more such bits of scruff, bringing the total to four.

By the end of January, Bell and Hewish submitted a paper to Nature describing the first pulsar. In February, a few days before the paper was published, Hewish gave a seminar in Cambridge to announce the discovery, though they still had not determined the nature of the source.

The announcement caused quite a stir. The press jumped on the story–the possible finding of extraterrestrial life was too hard to resist. They became even more excited when they learned that a woman was involved in the discovery. Bell later recalled the media attention in a speech about the discovery: “I had my photograph taken standing on a bank, sitting on a bank, standing on a bank examining bogus records, sitting on a bank examining bogus records. Meanwhile the journalists were asking relevant questions like was I taller than or not quite as tall as Princess Margaret, and how many boyfriends did I have at a time?”

Other astronomers were also energized by the finding, and joined in a race to discover more pulsars and to figure out what these strange sources were. By the end of 1968, dozens of pulsars had been detected. Soon Thomas Gold showed that pulsars are actually rapidly rotating neutron stars. Neutron stars were predicted in 1933, but not detected until the discovery of pulsars. These extremely dense stars, which form from the collapsed remnants of massive stars after a supernova, have strong magnetic fields that are not aligned with the star’s rotation axis. The strong field and rapid rotation produces a beam of radiation that sweeps around as the star spins. On Earth, we see this as a series of pulses as the neutron star rotates, like a beam of light from a lighthouse.

After discovering the first pulsars, Jocelyn Bell finished her analysis of radio sources, completed her PhD, got married and changed her name to Burnell. She left radio astronomy for gamma ray astronomy and then x-ray astronomy, though her career was hindered by her husband’s frequent moves and her decision to work part time while raising her son. Anthony Hewish won the Nobel Prize in 1974 for the discovery of the first pulsars. Over 1000 pulsars are now known.

As for little green men, they haven’t been found yet, but projects such as the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are still looking for them.





©1995 - 2020, AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY
APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.
 

archipeppe

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The chance of intelligent live at Proxima and Alpha Centaury are high !
Proxima Centaury has Earth size planet that orbit in habitably zone of Star
around 10000 Astronomical Units away is double Star Alpha Centaury
two sun like stars orbit each other far enough to planets in Stable orbit

I hope that TESS find some planets there
Unfortunately the things are not exactly so:

1. Proxima B planet is actually much closer to Earth than other ones but Proxima Centauri is an insidiuos red dwarf, with a solar wind hundred times stronger than the our Sun and, even worse it has frequent flares. Proxima B turns around its star in only 11,81 days, the good news is that is still inside the habitability zone, the bad news is that Proxima B is tidally locked to its star, this means always the same face to sunlight with the other one always in the dark, not the best environment to raise life, not mention intelligent one. Proxima B should have a powerful magnetic field to withstand the effects of its sun.

2. Currently we didn't found any planet around Alfa Centauri.

The two facts above doesn't necessarily imply that the signal detected is not really artificial. Maybe a relay station or a spaceship, who knows...
 

Grey Havoc

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Source could possibly be some sort of communications relay or automated monitoring post.
 

Dilandu

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Source could possibly be some sort of communications relay or automated monitoring post.

Unfortunately the signal doesn't seems to be modulated, so it hardly could carry any information. If we speculate about alien intelligence as its source, the most probable answer (I repeat: I'm speculating) may be very high powered missile early warning radar doing a sweep.
 

Deltafan

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The chance of intelligent live at Proxima and Alpha Centaury are high !
Proxima Centaury has Earth size planet that orbit in habitably zone of Star
around 10000 Astronomical Units away is double Star Alpha Centaury
two sun like stars orbit each other far enough to planets in Stable orbit

I hope that TESS find some planets there
In the French Wikipedia, is wrote :

At the beginning of May 2028, Alpha Centauri A will pass between us and a distant red star (S5). There will then be a 45% chance of observing an Einstein ring. Other conjunctions will also occur in the decades to come, allowing precise measurement of proper movements and possibly information on its (eventual) planet(s).

Is Tess or any other mean of detection foreseen to search eventual planets around Alpha Centauri A before the beginning of May 2028 ?
 

Michel Van

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There were Studies and analysis
like Hubble survey who found no Jupiter size planets in Alpha Centaur system
What make sense because A and B star are almost same distance as Sun-Saturn.

2012 French study using Doppler spectroscopy method. claimed to found a planets orbit Alpha Cen B.
But the finding was disproving by others, because data was signal noise, do the Limit of measurability for this method used.
 

Michel Van

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Thanks for the answer. I did not know this use of Hubble for Alpha Centauri system
So far i know made Hubble several survey on Alpha Centauri
the last was in 2015 were they try to find a transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb.
ironic 25 years old data of a Hubble survey on Proxima Centauri help to confirmed it's planet system.
 

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https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200602/history.cfm



February 1968: The Discovery of Pulsars Announced

In 1967, when Jocelyn Bell, then a graduate student in astronomy, noticed a strange “bit of scruff” in the data coming from her radio telescope, she and her advisor Anthony Hewish initially thought they might have detected a signal from an extraterrestrial civilization. It turned out not be aliens, but it was still quite exciting: they had discovered the first pulsar. They announced their discovery in February 1968.

Bell, who was born in Ireland in 1943, was inspired by her high school physics teacher to study science, and went to Cambridge to pursue her Ph.D. in astronomy. Bell’s project, with advisor Anthony Hewish, involved using a new technique, interplanetary scintillation, to observe quasars. Because quasars scintillate more than other objects, Hewish thought the technique would be a good way to study them, and he designed a radio telescope to do so.

Working at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, near Cambridge, starting in 1965 Bell spent about two years building the new telescope, with the help of several other students. Together they hammered over 1000 posts, strung over 2000 dipole antennas between them, and connected it all up with 120 miles of wire and cable. The finished telescope covered an area of about four and a half acres.

They started operating the telescope in July 1967, while construction was still going on. Bell had responsibility for operating the telescope and analyzing the data — nearly 100 feet of paper every day–by hand. She soon learned to recognize scintillating sources and interference.

Within a few weeks Bell noticed something odd in the data, what she called a bit of “scruff.” The signal didn’t look quite like a scintillating source or like manmade interference. She soon realized it was a regular signal, consistently coming from the same patch of sky.

No known natural sources would produce such a signal. Bell and Hewish began to rule out various sources of human interference, including other radio astronomers, radar reflected off the moon, television signals, orbiting satellites, and even possible effects from a large corrugated metal building near the telescope. None of those could explain the strange signal.

The signal, a series of sharp pulses that came every 1.3 seconds, seemed too fast to be coming from anything like a star. Bell and Hewish jokingly called the new source LGM-1, for “Little Green Men.” (It was later renamed.)

But soon they managed to rule out extraterrestrial life as the source of the signal, when Bell noticed another similar signal, this time a series of pulses arriving 1.2 seconds apart, coming from an entirely different area of the sky. It seemed quite unlikely that two separate groups of aliens were trying to communicate with them at the same time, from completely different locations. Over Christmas 1967, Bell noticed two more such bits of scruff, bringing the total to four.

By the end of January, Bell and Hewish submitted a paper to Nature describing the first pulsar. In February, a few days before the paper was published, Hewish gave a seminar in Cambridge to announce the discovery, though they still had not determined the nature of the source.

The announcement caused quite a stir. The press jumped on the story–the possible finding of extraterrestrial life was too hard to resist. They became even more excited when they learned that a woman was involved in the discovery. Bell later recalled the media attention in a speech about the discovery: “I had my photograph taken standing on a bank, sitting on a bank, standing on a bank examining bogus records, sitting on a bank examining bogus records. Meanwhile the journalists were asking relevant questions like was I taller than or not quite as tall as Princess Margaret, and how many boyfriends did I have at a time?”

Other astronomers were also energized by the finding, and joined in a race to discover more pulsars and to figure out what these strange sources were. By the end of 1968, dozens of pulsars had been detected. Soon Thomas Gold showed that pulsars are actually rapidly rotating neutron stars. Neutron stars were predicted in 1933, but not detected until the discovery of pulsars. These extremely dense stars, which form from the collapsed remnants of massive stars after a supernova, have strong magnetic fields that are not aligned with the star’s rotation axis. The strong field and rapid rotation produces a beam of radiation that sweeps around as the star spins. On Earth, we see this as a series of pulses as the neutron star rotates, like a beam of light from a lighthouse.

After discovering the first pulsars, Jocelyn Bell finished her analysis of radio sources, completed her PhD, got married and changed her name to Burnell. She left radio astronomy for gamma ray astronomy and then x-ray astronomy, though her career was hindered by her husband’s frequent moves and her decision to work part time while raising her son. Anthony Hewish won the Nobel Prize in 1974 for the discovery of the first pulsars. Over 1000 pulsars are now known.

As for little green men, they haven’t been found yet, but projects such as the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are still looking for them.





©1995 - 2020, AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY
APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.
Nature doesn’t produce such narrow band signals as this was. So it is either RFI or far, far, far less likely ETI.
 

Flyaway

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Scott Tilley has been looking at so called zombie satellites in Molniya orbits to possibly explain this signal.

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1343376749598425088


The suspected zombie Molniya activity is growing more interesting as the data rolls in:
- Three suspected spacecraft,
- Doppler rate is not following natural expectation,
- The s/c seem to be switching on/off their beacons before and after apogee much like modern Meridian. 1/2

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1343376751687204864


I'm resorting to identify the s/c from their timings and this may take a few days to gather enough data to narrow this down to something definitive. Thus far a wide range of Molniya 1-xx are suspects. Shortlisted are [7780, 1975-036A], [9880, 1977-021A] & [18946, 1988-018A]. 2/2

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1343383383733202944


All of these emitters are bound to the sidereal rate.
 

Flyaway

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He also makes a very good point here in this thread that we are literally swimming in an ocean of our own RF pollution.

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1343039796222967808


It's clear to me that until humankind quantifies what it is emitting by radio and other means that SETI is a folly. We as a species need to focus on understanding our own emissions as the first true step in interpreting anything we may feel we detect from elsewhere... 1/3

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1343039797036679169


As many of the SETI suspect emissions could come from satellites or other human space borne emissions than amateurs could have a significant role to play here. Sensors spread around the Earth listening and reporting in real time are what's needed. 2/3

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1343039797938409472


Until we reach that goal, brief emission detections will always be meaningless and suspect. Our goal should be to understanding how the international (universal) park of the radio spectrum is used. Then we will potentially notice things that truly warrant study... 3/3
 

Justo Miranda

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It is naive to assume that intelligent creatures from a distant star system use such an unpractical communication as radio (limited to the speed of light in a universe full of interference) just because it was the best channel we had in 1957.

Interstellar distances are so huge that the transmissions of our most powerful equipment are 50,000,000 weaker when they reach the Centauri System four years later and 1,000,000,000 weaker when they reach, if ever, the center of the galaxy within 26,000 years.

It may be assumed that a more advanced civilization than ours has had time to develop something more efficient. Science Fiction writers have 'solved' the issue by imagining a subspace transmitter using Faster Than Light (FTL) technology, something that violates Einstein's established paradigm.
 

archipeppe

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Not exactly if you think about the quantum entanglement effect.
I aree with you about the nonsense of radio waves As interstellar communication system, but let's assume that an advanced civilization detected out radio signal and it trying to answer Us the same way.
 

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It is naive to assume that intelligent creatures from a distant star system use such an unpractical communication as radio (limited to the speed of light in a universe full of interference) just because it was the best channel we had in 1957.

Interstellar distances are so huge that the transmissions of our most powerful equipment are 50,000,000 weaker when they reach the Centauri System four years later and 1,000,000,000 weaker when they reach, if ever, the center of the galaxy within 26,000 years.

It may be assumed that a more advanced civilization than ours has had time to develop something more efficient. Science Fiction writers have 'solved' the issue by imagining a subspace transmitter using Faster Than Light (FTL) technology, something that violates Einstein's established paradigm.

Well said. So much for "I love Lucy" broadcast to Aliens, or "Contact" Adolf Hitler 1936 Olympics broadcast, revealing our presence to E.T... ding dong, it doesn't work !
 

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