Every legend has it's hero...
Alien post #5: SETI & the “Wow!” Signal
Frank Drake, father of the Drake Equation made a second boon to the search for aliens. He started a collective, SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), that would make use of radio telescopes in order to detect potential signals from the quiet of space. The first SETI project was in 1960, it was dubbed “Project Ozma”. The project was at once groundbreaking and foreboding. I say this because it ushered in the era of an organized professional search for life amongst the stars, yet it yielded no results
SETI is and has always been at the forefront of this search. For decades they were funded directly by NASA, but in the early 90’s, faced ridicule and had their funding cut. Ever after they’ve been plagued by having to cater to private donors, something which severely limits their ability to conduct consistent research.
There was however, one success.
In 1977, astronomer Jerry Ehman was working on a SETI project in the Big Ear radio telescope in Ohio. Typical radio white noise in space results in an intensity value of either 0 or 1 on a unitless signal-to-noise ratio. For 72 seconds however on August 15th, the intensity rapidly picked up to six times the typical intensity of deep space noise.
Then it got louder.
After peaking at an incredible thirty times the intensity of deep space white noise, the signal dropped and disappeared. The signal recieved by the Big Ear telescope was exactly what astronomers suspected an E.T. radio signal would sound like. It was exactly what they’d been looking for, this specific kind of increase in intensity.
The signal had come from a section of the sky near the constellation Sagittarius. I’ve edited a picture with arrows denoting the location of the signal (there are technically two possible locations but they’re both next to each other from our perspective, for simplicities sake, it’s the same tiny region of the sky no matter which precise coordinate you believe is right). I’ve also written in the signal intensity code making the font size larger to indicate the volume of the signal compared to the surrounding white noise of space (1’s and 0’s).
There is - as usual -a problem with the Wow! signal. For something to be considered scientifically sound evidence, it must be repeatable. When Ehman contacted others they were unable to locate any signals. Ehman himself was unable to find the noise again. The only evidence that there’d been any signal at all was printed by the computers in the observatory as the intensity code 6EQUJ5. It happened. We absolutely received a signal, we just don’t know from what. The skeptic community is extremely rigorous when picking apart stuff like this and as a skeptic myself, I assure you we can’t figure out where this noise came from. It’s important though for scientists to resist the temptation and say “Aliens!” since you can’t set the precedent of “We don’t know what this is, therefore it is this.” We must base our conclusions on things we do know, not mysteries.
SETI continues to this day, scanning the sky with massive numbers of radio telescopes. For those of you who believe there’s some sort of secret conspiracy then I urge you to become a part of SETI, it’s quite easy.
Space is bloody big. The amount of computer power required to sift through all the data we receive far outdoes what SETI alone can handle. Seti@home is a program anyone may download in which they contribute a portion of their CPU to SETI’s mission, helping sift through parts of the sky. It’s very easy and runs automatically when opened, you needn’t know any programming or anything at all really. Tumblr is more complicated.
Please, help us - we can’t do it without you. If you’ve ever wanted to know the truth then be a part of it! Who knows, you could be the one to make contact…
Is Mario ok
Mario is reflecting on life. Wondering why there is so much fighting and bloodshed. Having to fight people like his brother and lover on the battlefield, and getting his ass handed to him on a regular basis
It’s too much. His spirit has broken
this is it this is my favorite post on all of tumblr nothing will ever defeat this post