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Saru

SETI receives $3.5M funding boost

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

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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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.

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Waste of money.

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

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

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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.

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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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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"

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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.

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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
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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...

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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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Most funding for the Allen Telescope Array is private money. The exception is the money they receive from the United States Air Force for providing them satellite tracking services on a part-time, trial basis. Its not clear how the discovery of a hostile species, via their radio signals, could worsen the situation. It just might be better to be forewarned.

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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.

First of all, it was a private donation. The world needs more private donation for underfunded research and science. Good on Qualcomm.

Secondly, $3.5 million would fund the US military for about 3 minutes.

If you want to complain about wasteful pointless spending, this isn't even a drop in the ocean of stupidly spent money.

No, it's not curing cancer. But not everything has to have an immediate and obvious benefit to be worth spending some time and money on. All sorts of blue sky research has lead to tangible real world benefits in the long run.

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Fine..it was a private donation. That still doesn't address what this SETI thing has done for us.

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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.

That's because you are scientifically ignorant of the real world benefits of this kind of blue sky research.

MRI scans, PET scans and other forms of nuclear medicine, lasers, etc. are some of the real world benefits that the kind of fundamental quantum physics research that CERN, Fermilab, etc. have done in the past. Research that had no obviously direct benefits at the time, but has proven to have helped diagnose and treating cancer. These technologies only exist due to scientists doing fundamental science research without concern for immediate real world benefits.

I agree with the poster above, the anti-science prejudice is astounding.

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Fine..it was a private donation. That still doesn't address what this SETI thing has done for us.

It hasn't done anything yet. But is "what is it doing for me?" really a valid justification for stopping what is ultimately a drop in the ocean of spending?

May as well complain about a runny nose when you are bleeding to death via a gunshot wound.

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Even if SETI were to find intelligent life forms that can communicate with us, I doubt we will be told about it. Well maybe until like 30 years after life has been found. But its good to hear that there are people who still fund underfunded research projects.

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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.

Says the guy communicating with somebody across an ocean instantaneously on a computer connected to the internet.

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Fine..it was a private donation. That still doesn't address what this SETI thing has done for us.

I didn't realize that increasing our knowledge of the universe that we inhabit was a bad thing.

Besides, SETI has an entire R&D division that has developed new signal processing algorithms (that tech can be used for pretty much everything in our modern world) and have helped advance radio astronomy with new tech. Not to mention all the engineers, technicians, scientists, pr people, administrators and even educators that they employ.

Plus, almost every self made computer millionaire invests in SETI. David Packard, William Hewlett, Gordon Moore (Intel), Paul Allen (Microsoft), Bill Gates, Barney Oliver (Founder HP Labs). In the past, these people have shown that they know where to make good investments.

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Says the guy communicating with somebody across an ocean instantaneously on a computer connected to the internet.

Yes, the World Wide Web was invented by one of zoser's 'bored scientists' working at the world's foremost 'particle accelerator project' that has 'yielded nothing as far as I can tell'.

Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

Edited by Archimedes
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And for ultimate irony, the World Wide Web was invented by one of zoser's 'bored scientists' working at the world's foremost 'particle accelerator project' that has 'yielded nothing as far as I can tell'.

Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.

Yeah. THANKS FOR NOTHING CERN!

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