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Are there alien messages in the stars ?

Posted on Monday, 3 December, 2012 | Comment icon 34 comments

Image credit: NASA

Astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz believes that there could be something obvious we are missing.

Conventionally the search for intelligent alien civilizations has involved listening out for signals, but what if a sufficiently advanced alien race had found a way to use the flicker patterns of their own star to communicate a message ? This is the premise on which Walkowicz is basing new research designed to determine if there could be messages in the heavens that we've been missing all along.

Walkowicz and her team will be examining the archives from the Kepler mission to look for 'winking' stars and then use complex software algorithms to identify any unusual patterns. "We’ll get all sorts of things we understand," she said. "But we’ll also be looking for things that aren’t matched by well-known physical processes."

"The odds of a discovery with Walkowicz’s project may be long, but the search technique is quite straightforward."

  View: Full article |  Source: Time Magazine

  Discuss: View comments (34)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #25 Posted by HMS Dreadnought on 4 December, 2012, 13:59
A waste of energy, effort, time & money
Comment icon #26 Posted by OldN8Dogg on 4 December, 2012, 18:06
As I see it, three options: 1) There is no signal, because there are no aliens. 2) There is no signal because while there are aliens, they are aware of both benign and malignant OTHER ET's, in which case a big strobe light in the sky may not be the best defensive strategy. 3) There is a signal, because the ones sending it are strong enough not to worry about any other race of ET's. And could devour our planet whole. In any of these scenarios, we probably don't gain a ton by doing this research. On the upside, perhaps we discover something totally unrelated about the blinki... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by HawkLord on 4 December, 2012, 20:38
The problem with a star using blinking as a means of sending a message was addressed in a short story titled "The Cosmic Blinker by Eando Binder"
Comment icon #28 Posted by Lava_Lady on 5 December, 2012, 5:32
If this is a privately funded study then go for it! Why not? She wouldn't be wasting any tax money if some wealthy people want to fund her project. If that's the case if be interested in hearing her findings. What's the worst that can happen... that we found out she was wrong and there is no message our that she is right, and we are being made fun of?
Comment icon #29 Posted by Abramelin on 5 December, 2012, 6:42
Flickering star light, messages being sent.... I had to think of this:
Comment icon #30 Posted by Spectre1979 on 6 December, 2012, 23:51
"If we’re always succeeding all the time, maybe we’re not trying hard enough." I like that quote, but I agree with the skeptics in here, waste of time and money.
Comment icon #31 Posted by -M7 on 7 December, 2012, 20:25
Advanced civilization in the universe must have some form of long range communication, it may be faster than ours and may not be affected by distance. The "high-speed-communication" maybe moving too fast to detect.
Comment icon #32 Posted by Quaentum on 7 December, 2012, 21:21
Comment icon #33 Posted by dan-paul-mark on 11 January, 2013, 0:20
aye that seems abit unlikely
Comment icon #34 Posted by onereaderone on 23 January, 2013, 10:52
is it more likly that listening for machine sounds would be productive . may i suggest that the sound of arc welders , genarators , microprocessors , stepper motors , and a million other rythemic and pattern signals which have nothing at all to do with communication might be found long before E.T. phoneing home is discovered .

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