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sigblips
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Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 732

We were getting a huge amount of spam and I recently had to put the setiQuest forum into moderated mode. The spam is gone but Drupal is acting a little odd. Drupal's spam control tools have a lot to be desired.

I've gone through the setiQuest user list for the past year and upgraded all users in good standing to a new "trusted user" mode. Trusted users get to create forum topics and bypass that horrible CAPTCHA. 

Welcome to setiQuest!  We trust you, now go out there and detect some SETI signals!

zigzag
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Joined: 2012-10-23
Posts: 19
Ding dong the CAPTCHA is

Ding dong the CAPTCHA is gone! cool I did not like that thing. It made me want to leave and never come back.

Great fix. Now I'm here for a while. How do I detect SETI signals?

Dave Robinson
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Posts: 196
I wish I knew

The answer to this question is something I think we all would like to know, there are many unknowns, rather like looking for a needle in a haystack - trouble is we don't actually know if the needle is really there. Does ET use radio waves? if so at what frequency, does he use a single tone beacon or is it modulated with information. Trouble is that if he/she/it is actually passing information, then without having key information regarding the actual communication protocol the more like noise the signals become. Where do you look? Exoplanets seem like one good bet, or my own hope is that ET might have put a probe around 'interesting' astronomical objects, such as Pulsars, and we might be able to 'evesdrop' on any signal coming from such a probe. However that is as much guesswork as anyone else's guess.

Is the search pointless? well my own feeling is that if we don't look, then there is zero chance we might discover it, if we do look then at least that becomes a very small but positive probability.

If on the other hand I have misinterpreted your question, and what you are asking is how do I analyse the SETI data, then come back, and I am sure that we can point you in the right direction.

Regards

Dave Robinson

zigzag
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Joined: 2012-10-23
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Fantastic synopsis. Searching

Fantastic synopsis.

Searching for needles in the cosmic haystack. I like that image. What would a needle look like? Would we recognize a signal if we saw it? indecision

We must search. Didn't some famous person say "seek and ye shall find?"

sigblips
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Joined: 2010-04-20
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Good question. There is an

Good question. There is an incredible about of Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) in the data that the ATA collects. A serious problem is that RFI looks a lot like what we would expect a SETI signal to look like. To help in resolving this problem a number of discriminators (tests) are used:

  1. Does the signal have a non-zero drift rate? The Doppler Effect with the Earth's rotation is a source of this drift rate.
  2. Is the signal in only one of the beamformer's beams? This is a quick electronic version of pointing the telescope in a different direction.
  3. Do a series of ON-OFF-ON-OFF target observations?  Does the signal persist?

Now a major problem is that local RFI can pass all of these tests. At this point a human needs to become involved in the detection process.

dbarak
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Joined: 2013-08-22
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New member help...

Hello,

I joined the forum today in the hopes of posting a few SETI-related questions, but I see that I'm not able to create new threads, I'm guessing for SPAM protection. Can you advise if there's anything I can do to open the forum up?

Dave

Dave Barak

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"Information is not knowledge." - Albert Einstein

sigblips
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Yup, we have a spam problem.

Yup, we have a spam problem.  You are now are now an authorized user and are good to go.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  Welcome to setiQuest.

dbarak
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Joined: 2013-08-22
Posts: 1
Hi, no problem, and no need

Hi, no problem, and no need to apologize. smiley And thanks for the welcome!

Dave Barak

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"Information is not knowledge." - Albert Einstein