Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.
Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”
It turns out that when it comes to the fate of humankind, this question is very important. Depending on where The Great Filter occurs, we’re left with three possible realities: We’re rare, we’re first, or we’re fucked.
posted by michswiss
on Jun 26, 2014 -
Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication
is a free book (PDF) from NASA. The premise is that communication with alien lifeforms will have some (cautious) analogues to interpreting past cultures, and to the work that anthropologists and linguists do cross-culturally. Among the 16 chapters are: Beyond Linear B - The Metasemiotic Challenge of Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence; Learning To Read - Interstellar Message Decipherment from Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives; and, Mirrors of Our Assumptions: Lessons from an Arthritic Neanderthal.
posted by Rumple
on May 23, 2014 -
NASA has announced
that the latest Kepler data dump
contains 1,091 extrasolar planet
candidates, with 196 Earth-sized planets among them. The data shows "a clear trend toward smaller planets at longer orbital periods is evident with each new catalog release. This suggests that Earth-size planets in the habitable zone are forthcoming if, indeed, such planets are abundant." Total Kepler candidates as of February 27, 2012: 2,321
. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor
on Mar 1, 2012 -
SETI Institute to shut down alien-seeking radio dishes.
Lacking the money to pay its operating expenses, Mountain View's SETI Institute has pulled the plug on the renowned Allen Telescope Array, a field of radio dishes that scan the skies for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. The timing couldn't be worse, say SETI scientists. After millenniums of musings, this spring astronomers announced that 1,235 new possible planets had been observed by Kepler, a telescope on a space satellite.
posted by Leisure_Muffin
on Apr 26, 2011 -
Larry King questions Stephen Hawking's recent argument
- that we should not try to talk to aliens - and other matters extraterrestrial with the physicist Michio Kaku, Seth Shostak of SETI, the science fiction writer and astronomer David Brin and the actor Dan Aykroyd (1
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on May 13, 2010 -
It's been 35 years this month since the Arecibo message
was sent from the Arecibo Observatory
in Puerto Rico, when the 1,679 digit message was sent once, towards Messier 13
. More messages have been sent sky-wards since, in attempts for communication with extra terrestrial intelligence
), with the (ill-fated
) Team Encounter
was instrumental in Cosmic Call 1999 and 2003
(more details: 58 page PDF
). The more complex three-section Teen-Age Message
was sent out in 2001, including a musical piece entitled 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens
. In 2008 NASA sent the Beatles into space
, transmitting "Across the Universe" for the 40th anniversary of the song's recording, the 45th anniversary of the Deep Space Network
(DSN), and the 50th anniversary of NASA (prev
). If you felt left out of the sending of signals, Talk To Aliens
offered a "deep space e-mail service" and a certificate of interstellar broadcast (prev
), but no more. Now Sent Forever
offers a long-lasting alternative to traditional greeting cards
, or simply the worst tie-in for Apollo 11
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 23, 2009 -
The "Great Filter
" is a hypothetical barrier to explain why civilisations are so unlikely to progress to the point of inter-stellar colonisation that we have not encountered any in 40 years of looking. Maybe humanity has already negotiated the filter - as some massive evolutionary improbability - or perhaps it lies in our future as an almost-certain threat to our existence? We should hold our breath as we look for evidence of life on Mars
posted by rongorongo
on May 12, 2008 -
September 30th, 2002, scientists intercepted a 10 minute radio burst from the galactic center, 26,000 Light Years away. 77 minutes passed, and it repeated. And again. The signal repeated 5 times that evening.
Some think those signals are weird mysterious.
Others think they are interesting mysterious.
posted by Lord_Pall
on Oct 25, 2006 -
Aliens and Children.
This website features a series of drawings made by children who were abducted by aliens for the purpose of creating a new race of alien/human hybrids. They successfully resisted the aliens by using a thought screen helmet
which blocks the telepathic control aliens have over humans.
posted by Robot Johnny
on Feb 12, 2006 -
Why SETI's search
for intelligent extraterrestrial life is different from the work of proponents of Intelligent Design. An interesting bit of argumentation regarding the distinction between the simple signals searched for by SETI and the complex signals used in arguments for ID.
posted by voltairemodern
on Dec 2, 2005 -
ET Could Hack SETI. SETI
, which uses down time on the computers of thousands of volunteers to search for intelligent signals from space, has a potential problem—besides information, a broadcast to us from an alien intelligence could also carry a computer virus. Leonard David
writes in the main link's space.com article that physicist Richard Carrigan (who works here
) takes it seriously. He thinks SETI should figure out how to decontaminate any signals it receives.
posted by jasonspaceman
on Nov 24, 2003 -
Nearly 4 years ago, Seti@Home project
started.Today, thanks to millions of CPU and loyal users, after picking 200 interesting signals out of a few billions, they have started rescanning the most interesting ones at Araceibo. One step closer to ET.
posted by elpapacito
on Mar 18, 2003 -
Have aliens answered our message?
In 1974, as part of the SETI project, an encoded message was sent from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico. On the 20th August, near the Chilbolton radio telescope in Hampshire, England, an amazing crop circle was discovered that appeared to answer the message....
posted by salmacis
on Nov 14, 2001 -