Monday, September 24, 2007

Search For Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI)

We have always been fascinated by Aliens and their civilizations.. but what if they never exist??
Both the thoughts are frightening..
If they are reality, then are they really visiting us?? Why are they visiting us??
If not then are we alone in this infinite space??
Description of visitors from heaven exist all along the human race..
In history they were named “Angels” and “Demons” and now they called aliens.

Well SETI was formed to find any alien civilizations present out there…but is not yet successful and if you(conspiracy lovers) think that even if they find any proof, the US government will try to hush the discovery. Then you should know one thing that the SETI is mostly sponsored by private people and the involvement of government is almost absent. And the news like this would spread like fire in the forest. These news makes good headlines.

Now about SETI, SETI stands for Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence. However they don’t look for extra terrestrials with cameras out focused in the sky, but search for radio signals in distant stars. They have a network of telescopes searching for the extra terrestrial radio signals. The largest being the Arecibo radio telescope.

The Arecibo Radio Telescope

The huge "dish" is 305 m (1000 feet) in diameter, 167 feet deep, and covers an area of about twenty acres. The surface is made of almost 40,000 perforated aluminum panels, each measuring about 3 feet by 6 feet, supported by a network of steel cables strung across the underlying karst sinkhole.

Suspended 450 feet above the reflector is the 900 ton platform. Similar in design to a bridge, it hangs in midair on eighteen cables, which are strung from three reinforced concrete towers. One is 365 feet high, and the other two are 265 feet high, trooly an engineering marvel…

In our Galaxy it detects the faint pulses emitted hundreds of times per second from pulsars. And from the farthest reaches of the Universe quasars and galaxies emit radio waves which arrive at earth 100 million years later as signals so weak that they can only be detected by a giant eye like this one.

The giant size of the reflector is what makes the Arecibo Observatory so special to scientists. It is the largest curved focusing antenna on the planet, which means it is the world's most sensitive radio telescope. Other radio telescopes may require several hours observing a given radio source to collect enough energy for analysis whereas at Arecibo this may require just a few minutes of observation.

The SETI researchers themselves have adopted an informal protocol that
outlines actions to be taken by the discoverers, if at all they find any signal. This protocol, A Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

As per the declaration the discovery should be thoroughly analysed for its being from alien civilization and then the news should be rapidly spread to astronomical community so they can personally verify the authenticity of the discovery. Then the news would go to the local government and then to the public.

Now about communications, I myself personally don’t think that we would be able to actually communicate with the aliens. I doubt if they are really so developed to send signals for other civilizations. If at all they send radio signals then we don’t need large radio telescopes as in Arecibo, even a small transceiver will do the job.

But the SETI is actually not searching for intentional radio signals but ones produced unintentionally, like radio communications among the ET civilization or radio traces of their spacecrafts.
SETI is not only receiving signals but also have sent some to the so called alien civilization. Here is the piece of message sent to the ETs…

Now can you decode this.. well I don’t really understand what they mean, if the alien civilizations have dumb people like me then most probably will not understand what this means…
If at all there is any life on alien planets then they would have life as simple as the extremophiles. But again the universe is really vast and if the randomness increases so is the chances of an order coming out of the chaos increases (chaos theory). That is since our universe is really vast there is a great chance that somewhere some civilization would have developed in these 10 billion years. And also if they have started a long back and did not had so much of catastrophic events as on earth, they could possibly be eons ahead of us… but then the physical distance that separates us from these civilizations leave us paralyzed, cause whatever radio signals you get from a civilization 1000 light years away from us are 1000 yrs older and if you want to send a message it will take another 1000 yrs to reach them and if they respond back it would take another thousand years. The only chance is if they have started colonizing the other planets or if they are wandering in search of life forms other than theirs, they could end up here….

I end up with an affirmative outlook, someday we will find some alien life form(not necessarily intelligent)…..

blessed be....

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