first radio signal from an alien civilisation ?


SCIENTISTS think they may have detected the first radio signal from an alien civilisation.

The faint pulse, thought to originate from a planet between the constellations of Pisces and Aries, was heard by the giant Arecibo radio telescope.

That registered the signal — sent 31million years ago and dubbed SHGb02+14a — for a total of just one minute.

But experts with SETI, the worldwide project Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, have as far as possible ruled out interference from Earth, satellites or background hiss.

SETI scientist Eric Korpela said: “It boggles my mind.

“We’ re looking for something that screams ‘Artificial’ but this just doesn’t do that. The signal is moving rapidly in frequency. You’d expect that from a transmitter on a rapidly-rotating planet.”

Gaussian Candidate SHGb02+14a

Full Story and more Info here

Sir Ulli

Ten things it might be

  1. ET

  2. Aliens tuning into BBC News 24. Well, no one here is watching.

  3. Lord Lucan sending home for more funds.

  4. Those pesky, hard-to-find, Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

  5. A SETI software fault.

  6. A prank by rival scientists, jealous of SETI’s funding.

  7. Echo signal from constant rebroadcasting of Star Trek.

  8. Long-lost racehorse Shergar’s radio collar.

  9. A North Wales Police speed trap to catch future space travellers.

  10. Beagle 2, Britain’s missing Mars mission.

lol, thanks for the story, heard about this earlier on local radio and just had a mate phone saying its a debate on radio 1 aswell!

just heard about it on the news very interesting…how long will it take untill the government comes in and says it was just a shuttle crashing into a satilite or somthing??? as well - good publicity for S@H :slight_smile:

Not sure what to make of this. First it is, then it isn’t then its chance, then we’re not sure. Anyway great publicity.

good publicity :confused:

Dr Wertheimer said: “It’s all hype. We don’t have anything we are excited about.”

Errrm, I think that have been phrased better, no Boinc mentioned, no new observatory in Oz mentioned :sigh:

Seti is obviously not exciting anymore :frowning:

DT. :realmad:

Bully’s example of an oxymoron:

debate on radio 1


Reports of SETI@home Extraterrestrial Signal Highly Exaggerated
by Amir Alexander

September 2, 2004:

A rash of reports in recent days that SETI@home has discovered a likely signal from an alien civilization are highly exaggerated, says SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer of U.C. Berkeley.

The storm was initiated by an article in New Scientist magazine, which reported about SETI@home’s most promising candidate signal to date, and speculated about its possible origins. Like all of SETI@home’s 5 billion potential signals, this candidate, labeled SHGb02+14a, was assigned a numerical score representing the statistical likelihood that it is indeed an intelligent extraterrestrial signal. Its relatively high score placed it among the 200 “top candidates” selected for the targeted reobservation sessions that took place in March of 2003 at the Arecibo Radio Observaotry. Of all the candidates targeted in the sessions, however, SHGb02+14a was one of the very few to be confirmed during the reobservations, and the only one whose score following the sessions actually went up.

Reports of SETI@home Extraterrestrial Signal Highly Exaggerated by the Planetary Society

Sir Ulli

more info to this

Story by

Seth Shostak Senior Astronomer

September 2, 2004

A recent (September 1) article in New Scientist magazine, entitled “ Mysterious signals from 1000 light years away,” implies that the Berkeley SETI@home project has uncovered a very convincing candidate signal that might be the first strong evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Alas, this story is misleading. According to Dan Werthimer, who heads up the Berkeley SERENDIP SETI project, this is a case of a reporter failing to understand the workings of their search. He says that misquotes and statements taken out of context give the impression that his team is exceptionally impressed with one of the many candidate signals, SHGb02+14a, uncovered using the popular SETI@home software. They are not.

This signal has been found twice by folks using the downloadable screen saver. That fact resulted in the Berkeley team putting it on their list of ‘best candidates’. Keep in mind that SETI@home produces 15 million signal reports each day. How can one possibly sort through this enormous flood of data to sift out signals that might be truly extraterrestrial, rather than merely noise artifacts or man-made interference?

The scheme used is simple in principle (although the technical details are complex): SETI@home data come from a receiver on the Arecibo radio telescope that is incessantly panning the sky, riding “piggyback” on other astronomical observations. Every few seconds, it sweeps another patch of celestial real estate, and records data covering many millions of frequency channels. Some of these data are then distributed for processing by the screen saver. By chance, the telescope will sweep the same sky patch every six months or so. If a signal is persistent – that is to say, it shows up more than once when the telescope is pointed at the same place, and at the same frequency (after correction for shifts due to the motion of the Earth) – then it becomes a candidate. Of course, being persistent doesn’t mean that the source is always on, only that it is found multiple times.

In February of this year, Werthimer and his colleagues took a list of two hundred of the best SETI@home candidate signals to Arecibo and deliberately targeted that mammoth antenna in the directions to which the scope was pointed when they were found. Once subjected to this closer inspection, all but one of these signals failed to show. That disqualifies them from being claimed as true detections of a persistent signal. The one that was found again, SHGb02+14a (the subject of the New Scientist article), will no doubt be observed yet again, but according to Paul Horowitz, who heads up the Harvard SETI efforts, the statistics of noise make it fairly likely that at least one of the candidates observed in February would reappear, even if all these signals were simply due to receiver fluctuations.

The article remarks on the strong drift of this signal, which it describes as puzzling. Of course, many terrestrial sources of interference, and in particular telecommunication satellites, show strong drifts due to changing Doppler effects as they wheel across the sky. (Incidentally, the technically inclined will want to note drift due to a planet rotating like Earth would be 0.15 Hz/sec, not the 1.5 Hz/sec mentioned in the magazine.) As for the distance of 1000 light-years claimed in the article’s title, there is clearly no evidence supporting this number, other than the lack of known nearby stars in the beam.

The bottom line is that an experiment like SETI@home always has a candidate list, a table of those signals that look most promising. Indeed, you can find the current versions of this list on their web site. However, there is a great deal of difference between a candidate, and a convincing signal. If any of the major SETI experiments being run by the SETI Institute, by the Berkeley group, the folks at Harvard, or the Australians or Italians, discovers a signal that they think is of extraterrestrial origin, they will immediately take steps to confirm this, both with their own scientists and with observers at other organizations. You will find information about it on their web sites, and in multiple media outlets.

Sadly, the New Scientist, while it implies that a detection of an extraterrestrial signal is imminent, has inadvertently wandered into a sticky vat of hyperbole.

– Seth Shostak

Has Seti@home found a Signal

Sir Ulli

some Question are still not answered

from the first Message at

who was the first Side who postet this

It is already exciting for IT engineers Oliver Voelker of Logpoint in Nuremberg, Germany and Nate Collins of Farin and Associates in Madison, Wisconsin, who found the signal.

who did the came to the names of this WU SHGb02+14a

both have no Profile at Seti@home Classic, only Inhouse Informatiion from Berkeley can give this.

there are a lot of Question unanswered i think…

Sir Ulli

SETI@Home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer Says Sorry, Wrong Number
Planetary Radio Show for September 20, 2004

Airdate: September 20, 2004
Play time: 28:50

The rumors of a message from an extraterrestrial intelligence have been greatly exaggerated, according to Dan Werthimer. He updates us on this and lots of other recent developments, including a recent SETI summit at Harvard. Emily Lakdawalla is in sync with moons that always face one way, and Bruce Betts has another What’s Up! look at the sky, along with his latest space trivia contest.

here the Interview with Dan Werthimer Planetary Radio Show for September 20, 2004t

Sir Ulli