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SETI receives $3.5M funding boost


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#1    Saru

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:01 AM

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence has received a sizeable donation to upgrade its antennas.

Fox 5 San Diego said:

A co-founder and chief scientist of San Diego-based Qualcomm donated $3. 5 million to improve the search for life on other planets, the SETI Institute announced Wednesday.

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#2    bison

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:14 PM

The Fox article incorrectly states that the Allen Telescope array consists of 350 dish antennas. This is the ultimate plan, but it currently consists of 42 dishes, each about 6 meters in diameter. The conversion to cryogenic feeds, made possible by the 3.5 million dollar donation, will reduce system noise substantially, and so about double the sensitivity. This will have about the same effect as doubling the number of dishes, as currently configured.


#3    Sweetpumper

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

Waste of money.

"At it's most basic level, science is supposed to represent the investigation of the unexplained, not the explanation of the uninvestigated." - Hunt for the Skinwalker

"The ultimate irony of the Disclosure movement is that it deeply distrusts officialdom, while simultaneously looking to officialdom for the truth." - Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

#4    zoser

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

View PostSaru, on 15 November 2012 - 11:01 AM, said:

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence has received a sizeable donation to upgrade its antennas.

The equivalent of throwing money on a bonfire.  Pathetic waste of time and resources.

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#5    Technocrat

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

SETI - "Silly Effort To Investigate!" Stanton Friedman.


#6    zoser

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

View PostMrSerendipity, on 15 November 2012 - 05:26 PM, said:

SETI - "Silly Effort To Investigate!" Stanton Friedman.

I didn't know that Stan said that.  Always did have a lot of respect for the guy.

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#7    zoser

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:31 PM

View PostSweetpumper, on 15 November 2012 - 04:19 PM, said:

Waste of money.

Agree with the conclusion but perhaps not the reasons.  Anyway that must be a success in itself :tu:

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#8    Sweetpumper

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

There's no other reason than they're not going to find aliens using radio signals.

"At it's most basic level, science is supposed to represent the investigation of the unexplained, not the explanation of the uninvestigated." - Hunt for the Skinwalker

"The ultimate irony of the Disclosure movement is that it deeply distrusts officialdom, while simultaneously looking to officialdom for the truth." - Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

#9    Ryu

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:07 PM

We have real problems to attend to in this country and money is being wasted on something that has no benefit to the common person.
Is SETI's endeavor going to help combat cancer? No. Is it going to help us battle homelessness? No. Is it going to help end stupid wars? No.

As a whole we need to sort out our own messes and learn to exist in neutrality first , if we cannot do that then how do we expect to get along with something different from us.


#10    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:10 PM

Wow. The level on anti science in this thread so far is staggering. Who cares if you agree with it or not. It was private money that was donated to a private cause.

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#11    Ryu

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:58 PM

So why is this issue even news then? Furthermore what has SETI actually accomplished?

Just because we question something doesn't mean we are "anti-science"


#12    bison

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

The three and a half million dollars is really a tiny amount, when compared to the billions that have been spent or relieving poverty, supporting medical research, and mediating conflicts that can lead to wars. No one is really in a position to predict that SETI will not be successful at some point, and provide a concrete answer a very important scientific question about other intelligent life in the universe. It is also impossible to predict what practical benefits might flow from the discovery of another civilization in space. At the very least, it seems, we would be shown that it is possible for an advanced technological civilization to continue to exist sustainably, without being destroyed by its own actions.


#13    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostRyu, on 15 November 2012 - 06:58 PM, said:

So why is this issue even news then? Furthermore what has SETI actually accomplished?

Just because we question something doesn't mean we are "anti-science"

SETI may manage the Allen Array, but they are not the only ones who use it. Here are some of the things that the ALA is working on:
  • Determine the HI content of galaxies out to z ∼ 0.2 over 3π steradians, to measure how much intergalactic gas external galaxies are accreting; to search for dark, starless galaxies; to lay the foundation for SKA dark energydetection
  • Classify 250,000 extragalactic radio sources as active galactic nuclei or starburst galaxies, to probe and quantify star formation in the local Universe; to identify high redshift objects; to probe large scale structure in the Universe; to identify gravitational lens candidates for dark matter and dark energy detection
  • Explore the transient sky, to probe accretion onto black holes; to find orphan gamma ray burst afterglows; to discover new and unknown transient phenomena
  • Survey 1,000,000 stars for SETI emission with enough sensitivity to detect an Arecibo radar out to 300 pc within the range of 1 and 10 GHz
  • Survey the 4×1010 stars of the inner galactic plane from 1.42 to 1.72 GHz for very powerful transmitters
  • Measure the magnetic fields in the Milky Way and other Local Group galaxies, to probe the role of magnetic fields in star formation and galaxy formation and evolution
  • Detect the gravitational wave background from massive black holes through pulsar timing
  • Measure molecular cloud and star formation properties using new molecular tracers, to map the star formation conditions on the scale of entire giant molecular clouds (GMCs); to determine the metallicity gradient of the Milky Way
These things may not seem important, but they are. Yes we have issues on this planet, but at least some are looking past that toward our future and a better understanding of the Universe that we live in. While work done at the ALA probably won't result in ensuring the longevity of our species, there is still hard science being done there everyday.
And like I said, it's private money going to a private organization. If this were government money I could better understand, though still not agree with, those that think it is a waste.

Edited by Imaginarynumber1, 15 November 2012 - 07:20 PM.

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#14    MidKn13ght

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

Im kinda confused on the rage myself. I would be mad too if it was government funds, but this was a private donation???? or did some of yall not read the article. I personally think we shouldnt look for life outside the solar system. If we do find life whos to say they wont be hostile??? Just food for snot...


#15    zoser

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

View PostImaginarynumber1, on 15 November 2012 - 06:10 PM, said:

Wow. The level on anti science in this thread so far is staggering. Who cares if you agree with it or not. It was private money that was donated to a private cause.

Sorry; I believe that the particle accelerator projects are nothing more than a few bored scientists looking to justify their existence.  The whole enterprise has yielded nothing as far as I can tell and should have the plug pulled ASAP.  Nothing but a huge scientific scam.


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