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Saru

How many alien civilizations are there ?

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I really hope we can all get over what happened today! So Sad,ITs the reason why we dont get that calling card from E.T! :innocent:

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Yes. A moment of silence for the young people, their families and friends. Then let us resolve to work toward the day when such things no longer occur.

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Imagine the distances such a probe would have to traverse in order to make the slightest difference in the direction to be scrutinized.

The vast distances to stars precludes much looking around using this method - assuming current limits on attainable velocities remain in force. On the other hand, any given position in the galaxy has the potential to "monitor" certain areas in various different directions simultaneously, considering that stars surround all interior positions in the galaxy.

I think that for the forseeable future, manufactured telescopes of different variety will provide more info than any gravitational methods.

Harte

On the particular issue of the supposed difficulty of moving a space probe about to different positions, in order to reach the gravitational focal points for various star systems: Using our own solar system as a model, the sphere defining the distance of the ideal focal points is about 186 billion miles in diameter.

If we assume that star systems of interest are one degree apart on this sphere, the distance between their focal points should, I believe, be about 162 million miles. At even the very modest speed of one percent that of light, it should take about 24 hours to move from one focal point to another.

One percent of the speed of light does not seem excessively high for a civilization somewhat more technically advanced than our own. If one day were spent monitoring each system, and one day consumed in moving between focal points, over 180 system could be studied each year.

Edited by bison

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On the particular issue of the supposed difficulty of moving a space probe about to different positions, in order to reach the gravitational focal points for various star systems: Using our own solar system as a model, the sphere defining the distance of the ideal focal points is about 186 billion miles in diameter.

If we assume that star systems of interest are one degree apart on this sphere, the distance between their focal points should, I believe, be about 162 million miles. At even the very modest speed of one percent that of light, it should take about 24 hours to move from one focal point to another.

It appears that here you assume that only a change in angle is required. However, is it not true that the star systems to be observed would need to be at least close to the same distance from the gravitational lens for that to be the case?

Obviously, signals can be corrected for variations, but my original point was that, in order to focus at any desired distance (and not just one distance) it would be necessary to alter the lens - in this case the gravitational field of the Sun.

If you were, for example, observing a star that was 25 LY away, then shifted to one that was 50 LY away, where is the adjustment for the change in distance (and not just degrees of arc?)

Telescopes would do a better job. How about radiotelescopes mounted on both the north and south poles of every planet in our system, and maybe on a few asteroids? That's be a nice-sized collector.

Harte

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It's too bad that everything is so far away and far apart..I doubt that during my lifetime we can come up with something that will be able to traverse across thousands of light years..?

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Billions and Billions

sagan.jpg

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Billions and Billions

sagan.jpg

ROFLMAO! That was a favored phrase of his. It ranked up there with "stuff."

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Okay, I really get quite annoyed with posts like these. (I'm referring to the original post of this thread btw)

The link leads to some kind of pseudo-scientific theory, bringing in all kinds of variables in order to seem scientific. Alas it ignores one very important variable.

I could debunk the whole thing, but I'd like to focus on one specific issue; the sheer size of the universe.

What are the chances there's life out there? Well chances are pretty damn big. There's no denying that. However we can also agree on the fact that relatively speaking, life is rare. It takes some pretty specific circumstances for life to develop. My point is that people tend to forget (or are unable to fathom) how immensely big the universe is. There probably is life out there somewhere, but it's rare, and the chances that alien life is close enough for us to come into contact with it are in my opinion extremely tiny.

And I haven;t even mentioned time. Yeah that;s right time. The universe is billions and billions of years old. So there might be alien lifeforms, but they could have died millions of years ago. We only came to the show some 100.000 years ago, which is hardly a millisecond on the grand scale of things. I just get the feeling a lot of people don't have the right perspective on these things.

Edited by alexb

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It appears that here you assume that only a change in angle is required. However, is it not true that the star systems to be observed would need to be at least close to the same distance from the gravitational lens for that to be the case?

Obviously, signals can be corrected for variations, but my original point was that, in order to focus at any desired distance (and not just one distance) it would be necessary to alter the lens - in this case the gravitational field of the Sun.

If you were, for example, observing a star that was 25 LY away, then shifted to one that was 50 LY away, where is the adjustment for the change in distance (and not just degrees of arc?)

Telescopes would do a better job. How about radiotelescopes mounted on both the north and south poles of every planet in our system, and maybe on a few asteroids? That's be a nice-sized collector.

Harte

I have been using the term 'focal point' pretty loosely, to mean the minimum distance from a star, at which it can act as a gravitational lens, and the direction diametrically opposite that of the object to be observed. Gravitational lenses are not completely analogous to optical ones, though. I read that beyond the above minimum distance, there is no specific focal length. It appears that all points farther out are in focus, regardless of the distance of the observed object. The linked article explains this a bit: http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/sun-gravitational-lens/

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Up till now they have not tqaken much notice of us except maybe to observe.

We weill get there attention about the time our radio waves/tv transmissions etc start clogging there waves with old black and white reruns. Itll likely be like a foghorn going off in your ear while your talking on the phone to ET's. They will definently be paying us a visit when the Kardashians episodes arrive.

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Time for a Oldie but Goodie ! "Time Waits for no one and No one waits for me " :whistle:

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Up till now they have not tqaken much notice of us except maybe to observe.

We weill get there attention about the time our radio waves/tv transmissions etc start clogging there waves with old black and white reruns.

So, never then?

Our radio and television signals will never reach nearby star systems intact.

Harte

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57 species reported by ex military officers.

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57 species reported by ex military officers.

Dayum, Heinz is everywhere!

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So many "scientific" assumptions being made hear that are basically meaningless, based our our own limited experience and example of social and technological developments on this one planet. Of course, we are still in our infancy when it comes to these things and cannot really comprehend civilizations that may be not only quantitatively different from ours but qualitatively different in the absolute sense--like all those pre-cognitive intelligent lifeforms like Col. John Alexander used to talk about.

Discussions like these only serve to convince me that many people don't have the first clue about what's going on, at least so far as the (limited) publicly available information is concerned.

Dayum, Heinz is everywhere!

I've heard that there may be 120 or more, if we include those that only "drop in" occasionally. LOl

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So, never then?

Our radio and television signals will never reach nearby star systems intact.

Harte

I've often heard that they will mostly become part of the background "hiss" before they reach most nearby star systems, unless they are very powerful and directed signals. Of course that's also making the assumption that someone "out there" is just sitting around waiting to hear something and that no one has any observation posts, bases or listening post much nearer to us.

That would also mean that we had been "discovered" quite some time ago, even before the days of radio, radar, TV and nuclear blasts.

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THen they sure are taking there sweet time coming to Meet us,Eat us ,What ever us ! :clap:

HEy ! HEy ! Were Here and mostly Harmless!

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psyche

Gidday Source. I do apologise for the late reply, I seem to have lost this thread, and it is a great shame. I have missed much conversation on my favourite ET subject - communications. I have some catching up to do here. Glad I back tracked a bit to find this post. It would have been a shame to miss this interesting subject altogether.

I wrote a long dissertation as a reply, only to realize after listening to it that most of what I wrote was simply agreeing with what you posted. Here's the short version.

Thank you for the effort mate, I very much appreciate your posting.

First off, I absolutely agree that programs like the SETI project should continue. I'm of the camp that subscribes to the possibility of not only life, but other civilizations exist in the galaxy, despite the fact that it's only speculation at this point.

One problem I have with SETI, however, is that their search is extremely limited due to the fact that they are listening specifically for radio signals (I may be mistaken, so please correct me if I'm wrong). I would consider that as a good starting point, but there are other much more efficient means of communication, especially for interplanetary and long-range space craft chatting. A laser communication system or one which uses microwaves would be two examples that an alien civilization might employ.

I agree, but I think it is more that we just were not sure what to look for. I imagine there is quite a number of blinking lights out there, deciphering of one is a code would ba a mammoth undertaking.

I see SETI as a great springboard, and an excellent first step. It has many detractors, but seems to be surviving the test of time. I wish SETI all the best, and hope they have no time limit for their efforts.

Many people have been talking about these types of communication of late, I have no doubt as we understand technology better, it will be implemented at SETI.

But there's the problem of signal degradation across such long distances that needs to be considered. Even if an alien civilization were to point a laser directly at Earth for the purpose of sending a message, the signal would be weakened considerably by the time it reached us. The signal may drop so close to noise level that even it were detected there would be no way to decipher any information from it.

As Bade mentioned, we have systems that reach 200 LY no problem, and a directional antenna can solve many problems as well. As a precedent, I would cite the current Voyager probes currently entering Interstellar space, and still communicating with us. I feel it is possible, it would be hard to get that directional exchange spot on, but I do feel it is possible, even if we send out some repeaters to the edge of our solar system or something.

I really feel this is possible. I deal with only terrestrial comms systems, but I have seen some amazing development's and indeed, amazed myself at some of my own achievements.

Also, assuming that panspermia was the "spark" of life on a number of other planets, I see no problem with the possibility of convergent evolution taking place, at least in a biological sense.

Agreed, they are possibles, and strong ones going by or pool of one, but sadly they are only that I guess. Still, at least we are not wondering how ancient man managed to pile rocks up. LOL.

What I do have a little trouble with is applying the concept of anthropomorphism to a completely alien intelligent species. Assuming that life on Earth and life on our distant neighbors' planet was the result of panspermia (and also assuming that our shared biochemistry is carbon based), there is still a vast number of environmental variables that would shape the development of that alien species intelligence. There are a number of theories that try to explain how human intelligence evolved, from the need for social relationships to avoiding mating with a diseased person. Link. But ironically, those traits can also be applied to forms of life on Earth that many consider to be operating under instinct alone.

Please bear with me while I speculate a bit. What if an alien species that resembles insects similar to those on Earth developed to the stage where they can construct and utilize advanced communication technology?

Take honeybees for example. Their hives are complex and highly organized social structures. Foragers gather nectar for the colony, workers build the comb and tend to the queen, drones mate with the queen, etc, etc. Now lets say that, for whatever reason, they evolved to the point where they needed to develop advanced technology. These high tech bees then come up with a way to communicate with each other on a planetary scale, using radio signals or other forms of technology. And yet, they would still adhere to their hive societal structure; their "lot in life" to use a quaint phrase. So the chances of deciphering whatever they're communicating to each other would be practically zero.

Yes, their colony would resemble many instances of human society; towns and cities where people work together as a whole for specific ends being the main one. But they would lack the individuality that we humans strive for (while it's true that we all sometimes feel like we're nothing more than drones and workers, we at least have BBQs and the occasional beer to look forward to).

My point is simply that even if and/or when we were to detect an actual, traceable, and perhaps continuous signal from an alien civilization, it's not very likely that they would be anthropomorphic, at least not in the strictest sense.

What concerns me is the 50 billion species we have had here, and that no species as such has come close to attaining intelligence. Methodology yes, structure yes, but I do feel these processes, which have been honed over millions of years are likely to be well refined. That is the culmination of millions of years of evolution, evolution is mainly about adaption, that is where man broke the standard model. We adapt the environment to suit us, not the other way around. That had me seriously considering religion for a very long time, that no other species managed to overcome Mother Nature, but better understanding of the rise of man, and going from the single relay model to the malay of humans cured that.

Honeybees are well organised, but not intelligent. That organisation, and their friendly relationship with species that enjoy Honey have made them what they are today. I cannot see another body shape being capable of making an Industrial Revolution happen. Bees cannot mine and smelt, not are they likely to have the facilities to build machines that can extract fuels from organic sources. They have no opposable limbs for leverage, they have no capacity, or use for fire, so they never learned to control it. These are the aspects that made an Industrial Revolution possible, and workable, as well as man's developing brain that can look at the environment around him and make it suit him.

Again, I find that 50 billion species on earth did not make it any where as close as the anthropomorphic shape managed (considering Neanderthal, Denisovians, Homo Idaltu, Flores Man, People of Pallau, and those yet to be found) rather convincing that this shape is a winning design, and with convergeant evolution is likely to be the most common shape of species that attain enough intelligence to achieve space travel.

Cheers. Always a pleasure mate, again, sorry for the late reply. A bit embarrassing on my behalf.

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Past instances where the human race thought itself in a unique position have all proven to be mistaken. It was once believed that only humans made and used tools, until it was noticed that Chimpanzees do, too. Even planets were once suspected of being very rare; caused by stars passing each other in space and very nearly colliding. We begin to see now that they are quite common.

We seem to be on far safer ground, in assuming that we are a typical intelligent species, and in a typical situation, neither rare nor unique in many respects.

Of course we will not hear radio signals from those who have not developed them, no matter how intelligent they are otherwise.

Popular opinion and that of most scientists agree in counting the question: 'are we alone'? a very interesting and important one. Finding that we are not alone in the universe would be widely considered a profound discovery.

Hi Bison

You might be pleased to know I agree with you in this case, I feel communications is a very good option. I think the WOW! signal showed us that it is well worth listening to space. Heck, even if we do not find ET, many important discoveries have come from listening for ET, such as Pulsars.

Edited by psyche101

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Statements about how far away our signals could be heard in space are based on the capabilities of *our* technology. Given the age of the galaxy, and how much time there has been for other civilizations to develop, there could be races a billion or more years ahead of us, technically speaking. Why should our technical limitations apply to them?

There has been serious scientific discussion abvout the possibility of using the Sun as giant gravitational lens, which could focus interstellar radio waves. This method would enable its users to hear signals of even very modest power from throughout the galaxy.

I was thinking the same thing. If there is an advanced species looking to meet others, they might try older methods they had in their development, just to see if anyone was following the same path. Physics are a constant in the Universe, so what works here, will work everywhere, and with the same goal in mind, i is entirely possible that two species would happen upon the same solution to a common problem.

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So, never then?

Our radio and television signals will never reach nearby star systems intact.

Harte

Would a signal have to be intact to be recognised as coming from an intelligent species though? Just some organised data packets would make many scratch their heads would it not?

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Would a signal have to be intact to be recognised as coming from an intelligent species though? Just some organised data packets would make many scratch their heads would it not?

Hell, they make people here scratch their heads! Hiya, Psyche!

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Hell, they make people here scratch their heads! Hiya, Psyche!

Gidday Mate!!

All the best for the new year, and the very best to your wonderful daughter as well :D

Heck yeah they do! CISCO has an excellent vid, maybe one of these youtube buffs could dig it up, called a day in the life of a packet. Very informative.

I'd hate to be on a distant planet, and get this.

56k-i-hate-you-i-hate-you-i-hate-you.jpg

Still, it is an indicator of intelligent life......... of sorts!! :D

Cheers.

Edited by psyche101
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I was thinking the same thing. If there is an advanced species looking to meet others, they might try older methods they had in their development, just to see if anyone was following the same path. Physics are a constant in the Universe, so what works here, will work everywhere, and with the same goal in mind, i is entirely possible that two species would happen upon the same solution to a common problem.

But you will never believe any contact.... as you always debunk all and sundry. So unless somebody dumps a Grey on your doorstep.... you are unconvinced. And dont bother to go on about how gullible I am etc etc etc....

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But you will never believe any contact.... as you always debunk all and sundry. So unless somebody dumps a Grey on your doorstep.... you are unconvinced. And dont bother to go on about how gullible I am etc etc etc....

You just do not read. That is the problem with believers.

If your not with us, your against us.

*Sighs*

Yes, I find the stories of Aliens hyped up, missing facts, and loaded with conjecture. I would say that 99.9999% do not deserve to have ET associated with them.

That is the nature of man, and I am even more perplexed at how this basic factoid escapes every believer on the planet. Man is mischievous ny nature, and hey, why not. A smile goes a long way.

You seem to have missed that every now and then I have let out that Portage County is the only case I have seen in my 35 years that I remain perplexed about. If aliens are a candidate for any claim whatsoever, I believe that is the one, however, it is a very, very long way from validated as an ET visit.

And that is not a Grey on my doorstep.

Or the WOW! Signal. I find it probably the closest we have come to actual contact. A real and happening, and documented thing. And like this, if we ever do see ET, I feel it will not be a cryptic guessing game. If ET visits, I feel everyone will know, there will be no doubt.

If you had spent 35 years studying a subject, and were left found wanting, had three personal UFO experiences that I am 100% sure were natural phenomena, and have seen cases like Roswell go from WOW! to WHAT? I am sure you would be able to understand what I do, and might see the phenomena in a very different light. We are the sum of our experiences, I pursued this subject for a long time, and my experience is that people like to feel important, and they tell stories that make others listen closely to feel important.

Then there is that very fact that I do dable in Amateur Astronomy. I do look at the skies, I have a decent grasp on space, and the size of it. It has astounded my since I was a small child. I still remember being very, very young, about 5, and looking at the sky, and trying to figure out where the end of it was. I realised it just kept going, and going and going. The true meaning of the word "Space" hit me, and it was like being shocked with electricity (and being an electrician, I know what that is like too!) and I have not forgotten that defining moment to this day. 40 years or so later. I know what it takes to get here, I have a good idea of what we have planned, how fast we can go, and what is actually achievable. I learn along they way, but remember, I am a grumpy old fart. I have been around for a long time, and seen and heard a lot in my time and repetition of nonsense tries my patience. My mother used to believe in Yowie's when I was a kid. She would get genuinely scared of this mythical beast that cannot exist in this climate. But I digress.

I do not "debunk" I "debate" If I am wrong I say so. My biggest turn around here I would say was to let go the MOGUL explanation at Roswell for the LSRH. If genuine information becomes available I am more than willing to accept it. The UFO/ET crowd have simply failed to provide convincing evidence. If it were any good, I would have no rebuttal, but as anyone can see, I have always had plenty to say on the subject. You might also notice that I get along very well with some on the believer side, and have even had to concede in the past. People like Quillius, Nuke'Em, MacGuffin all restore that which the woo woo train takes from the credibility of the phenomena. Some of my most enjoyable exchanges have been with believers, and it would be my honour to buy any one of the above a beer any day of the week. They all have most certainly earned my respect, and even more so, as I feel they have had to do it from what other believers have made a difficult position.

If a thing is real, it can be proven, if a story is honest, it will stand up. That is that case I am waiting for. It might be here, it might be Portage County, but the nonsense being spread about by the likes of Friedman and Hastings I find embarrassing to the species and tends to bury any tantalising possibility. What people like this peddle is genuine claptrap. 99.9999% if the ETH does not deserve a listen. I personally feel I am rather patient hanging out for that 0.0001% chance. Putting up with the silliness of the woo train in the meantime can test my patience, and that is why I appear so grumpy. If people are nice to me, I am nice to them, if they are rude to me, I am back. That's pretty normal I think. I have a cheeky and dry manner, and that can be taken the wrong, way, I can understand that, but some people are here just to bash a skeptic, and in this case, they are going to get a fight.

But... it's not always like that.

Like Kludge, I feel whilst growing old is mandatory, growing up is indeed optional.

Cheers.

tn_1237648331755.jpg

Edited by psyche101

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