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keithisco

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter...

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Posted (edited)

An array of 66 high precision antennas located on the Chajnantor plateau, 5000 meters altitude in northern Chile, is up and running.

Thanks to its high resolution and sensitivity, ALMA will open an entirely new "window" on the Universe, allowing scientists to unravel longstanding and important astronomical mysteries, in search of our Cosmic Origins.

Alma is also Spanish for "Soul".

Read more here:

http://www.almaobservatory.org/

Edited by keithisco

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Interesting to note that this telescope also opens up new SETI possibilities. Dr. Nickolai Kardasdhev, the Russian astronomer, best known for his typology of extraterrestrial civilizations, according to the amount of energy they have at their disposal, had a suggestion. He noted that the millimeter range frequency of 203.385 GigaHertz had the maximum radio energy left over from the Big Bang.

This seems to constitute a 'magic' frequency, just as the peak frequency of neutral hydrogen, the most abundant substance in the universe, at 1420.405 MHz, does. Both seem to be universal signposts for radio frequencies where extraterrestrial civilizations might try to contact one another. The ALMA can reportedly receive frequencies from 30 to 900 GHz, making it ideal to listen at this so called 'positronium line', with greater sensitivity than ever before.

Millimeter range radio astronomy is difficult, in that the observatories must be as very high altitudes before these radio waves can even penetrate Earth's atmosphere. Previous SETI searches at 203 GHz have been very brief, and relatively insensitive.

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My SETI@home is on and waiting...

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I am very excited by the Commissioning of "Alma". It will bring a level of fidelity to Radio Teloscopy that has been missing until now. SETI is an aside in my opinion - if no coherent, artificial Radio Signals are found then it is not important, and neither is that its goal.

The fidelity and clarity that this array promises transcends all "fringe" considerations

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Posted (edited)

Of course SETI is not the main purpose of the ALMA. Still, they might find such a signal, while looking for something else. If science had only ever found what it set out to find, we would all be much poorer, intellectually, than we are. Happy coincidences, and serendipitous discoveries enrich the pursuit of knowledge remarkably. SETI addresses one of the most profound questions that science can ask -- are we along in this vast universe, or not?

Edited by bison

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that's awesome guys but i will tell you the answer you want and that is the following:we are not alone and we have never been nor are we at the moment!!!i know that.although i cant prove it my intuition and gut feeling is telling me the truth and answers.as for the giant telescopes that's cool and very useful

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Exciting times ahead i'm sure but the report states it hopes to photograph distant galaxies from the beginning of time,well if the universe is of an unknown size and quantity of galaxies how will they be sure they're correct as the early galaxies may be an eternally long distance from us,am i thinking to much?

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Interesting to note that this telescope also opens up new SETI possibilities. Dr. Nickolai Kardasdhev, the Russian astronomer, best known for his typology of extraterrestrial civilizations, according to the amount of energy they have at their disposal, had a suggestion. He noted that the millimeter range frequency of 203.385 GigaHertz had the maximum radio energy left over from the Big Bang.

This seems to constitute a 'magic' frequency, just as the peak frequency of neutral hydrogen, the most abundant substance in the universe, at 1420.405 MHz, does. Both seem to be universal signposts for radio frequencies where extraterrestrial civilizations might try to contact one another. The ALMA can reportedly receive frequencies from 30 to 900 GHz, making it ideal to listen at this so called 'positronium line', with greater sensitivity than ever before.

Millimeter range radio astronomy is difficult, in that the observatories must be as very high altitudes before these radio waves can even penetrate Earth's atmosphere. Previous SETI searches at 203 GHz have been very brief, and relatively insensitive.

You are right about the sub-millimetric sensitivities. It would appear that only very brief windows of opportunity exist with a het of 900Ghz and a noise temp of c100K. It all depends on the capabilities of the coolers on the "Front End". I am sure this has all been considered and mitigated for however.

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Posted (edited)

Exciting times ahead i'm sure but the report states it hopes to photograph distant galaxies from the beginning of time,well if the universe is of an unknown size and quantity of galaxies how will they be sure they're correct as the early galaxies may be an eternally long distance from us,am i thinking to much?

Galaxies take a finite time to coalesce, so any observed Galaxies 14Byrs old had an earlier Genesis. If Galaxies are found that appear to be that old then we need to re-think the Big Bang IMO

Edited by keithisco

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There was a report a while back in a French science journal that a galaxy older than 14bn years had been detected, making them rethink the age of the universe. I don't remember the name and I'm not sure whether it was a peer reviewed journal or regular magazine.

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You wouldn't happen to mean Nature would you? Nature published an article on the 13th about the ALMA array discovering starburst galaxies by way of gravitational lensing. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12001.html

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no matter the amount of telescopes we put to search for E.T life in the universe the fact is that they know we exist already and know where we are too.will they talk to us well that is another different matter.i don't believe they want to talk to us yet because the way humanity is at the moment,like aggressive,violent,scary and etc.

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If there are unfriendly aliens out there that know we exist, wouldn't they have annihilated us already? (Hey Donteatus where are you?) As far as SETI is concerned, any intelligent civilization would emit radiation in one or other spectrum. I don't think that they could or would hide their emissions unless they are really far more advanced. Given the probability that there is more than one intelligent species out there, surely one day some of their emissions will reach earth?

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no matter the amount of telescopes we put to search for E.T life in the universe the fact is that they know we exist already and know where we are too.will they talk to us well that is another different matter.i don't believe they want to talk to us yet because the way humanity is at the moment,like aggressive,violent,scary and etc.

If we appear dangerous to extraterrestrials, it might seem to them a good idea to begin preparing us for responsible, peaceful galactic citizenship. We've already sent out space probes that will leave our solar system. In the long term thinking of a very long-lived extraterrestrial civilization, we may appear likely to soon have the ability to intrude into the rest of the galaxy.

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Let's not take this too far off topic. There is an entire forum for the discussion of extraterrestrial life, this topic is supposed to be about the ALMA telescope array.

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