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Jarad
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: deSitter]
      #5434010 - 09/22/12 08:36 AM

Quote:

Doesn't the actual ocean and atmospheric chemistry itself depend on a complex chain of events, just as unlikely as life? That is, there's iron and nickel in the water, but there are microbes that use nickel and emit methane, which however declines because a type of iron oxide scrubs the water of nickel and the microbes die, so now oxygen can accumulate in the atmosphere etc. etc. etc. - it's extremely complicated and specific. Can these events happen in a different order leading to the same result?

-drl




That's just it - we don't know. If each of those steps is truly a requirement, then the odds of them happening in just the right order elsewhere are very low, and life will be very rare.

But if they are only one of many ways it could happen, then the odds of life are much higher.

So finding lots of planets with water but no life (which is hard to tell from a distance) would just tilt our hypotheses towards more specific requirements, while finding ones with life would tilt us toward looser requirements or many alternate paths.

Jarad


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5434450 - 09/22/12 01:22 PM

Like most, I have heard of the WOW signal. What do you know about it, Jarad?, Dave? drl? others? Specifically, what about the signal made somebody write wow.

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Jarad
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5434735 - 09/22/12 04:32 PM

It was a signal detected by the Big Ear radiotelescope once. More detail here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wow!_signal

Jarad


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5435056 - 09/22/12 08:34 PM

Thank you, Jarad.

If others of us could look at this wiki page Jarad provided and study the information, I'd be interested in hearing what you see as the strengths of the information given, and the weak logical links as well.

Otto


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Jarad
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5435084 - 09/22/12 08:50 PM

There's not really much logic to it. They detected one unexplained signal above the background noise for a few moments. They have looked in the same spots many times for many years since and not found it again. There was no information content in the signal. Not really much to conclude from that except that we don't know what the source was.

Jarad


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5435088 - 09/22/12 08:54 PM

Civilizations have been built on less.

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simpleisbetter
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 04/18/11

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5435293 - 09/23/12 12:02 AM

And mankind flourished because of it. Hate to see a civilization waking up and praising WOW!

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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5435477 - 09/23/12 03:59 AM

Quote:

TThey detected one unexplained signal above the background noise for a few moments. ... There was no information content in the signal. ...

Jarad



No encoded plans for time machine or starship?

No episodes of "I Love Frmilixjhg(Lucy)"

No Chuck Berry!?

Not even "the Monkees"



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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Mister T]
      #5435784 - 09/23/12 10:04 AM

Not even a prime number!

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Mike Casey

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Reged: 11/11/04

Loc: El Pueblo de Nuestra SeƱora l...
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5436315 - 09/23/12 02:58 PM

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." ~ Dr. Carl Sagan

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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5436996 - 09/23/12 09:13 PM

Let us imagine the WOW was a signal from an extra-terrestrial source of/by intelligent beings capable of that level of radio transmission.

Let us further imagine that there is some another civilization three thousand years technologically advanced of the radio-transmission-sophistication of this WOW-civilization. Let us further imagine that this 3000-civilization are not only benign, but kindly. They have taken it upon themselves to watch for WOW civilization transmissions/communications being overheard by slightly inferior EARTH-type-civilizations. Let us further suppose the 3000s have observed over the centuries a number of terrible misfortunes occur to earth-type-civilizations when slightly more advanced WOW-civilizations began to communicate; say something like the WOWs took over, or the earth-type-civilizations simply destroyed themselves with the WOW technology they appropriated...some such deleterious event.

With the technology we possess here, today, on the earth, and with technologies here on earth we think just might realistically occur in the next couple centuries...let's limit oursevles to what we consider realistically possible, technologically speaking...with just this level of technology, how would a 3000-civilization go about keeping earth-type-civilizations from obtaining further radio-transmissions indicating the existence of WOW-type-civilizations? More specifically, how would the 3000s interfere with the WOW transmissions in such a manner that EARTH-types whenever it looked again at the supposed source direction of the WOW signals, would just get normal background type noise?

I'd appreciate it if you would not just brush through this question. I know it is wordy, how I did it, but I was wordy for the purpose of trying to be as clear as I could possibly be.

Thank you,

Otto


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scopethis
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Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5437336 - 09/24/12 01:36 AM

so are you saying that the interfering "advanced" civilization is akin to the SPCA?

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Jarad
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5437839 - 09/24/12 10:55 AM

Quote:

More specifically, how would the 3000s interfere with the WOW transmissions in such a manner that EARTH-types whenever it looked again at the supposed source direction of the WOW signals, would just get normal background type noise?




Well, either they would have to use their super-advanced technology to perform "magic" that we can't even understand with our level of technology, or they would have to block the signal physically somewhere between us and them. And to make the block take effect before the next observation, it would have to be fairly close to us.

But these sort of conjectures are inherently un-scientific, because we are postulating near-omniscient beings who know what we are looking at and with magical powers to affect our ability to observe reality. We can never prove or disprove the existence of such things, since you can reply to any measurement "that's what they want us to see"...

Jarad


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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5437964 - 09/24/12 12:01 PM

It's like a galactic TOS. They simply pm the offending civilization asking them to desist, and if there's no cooperation -- BAN 'EM!

Any openings for galactic moderators?


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5437991 - 09/24/12 12:17 PM

Quote:

...Protocells, or at least the vesicles that self-sustaining replicators, well that hasn't been done by humans as far as I know. It's that "critical step" that is probably a combination of many steps, steps that may require clay, or calcite, or ice, or evaporation, or acids, or bases, or some combination of several. It may require that the products of a clay reaction interact with products of an ice + evaporation reaction, or some other intricate chains of circumstance to assemble just the right molecules in just the right sequences.
...The question is, and will be for the forseeable future, in what set of natural environments can it happen again? And how broad or narrow are the circumstances that allow it?




Absolutely agree, You may also mention a rare combination of minerals acting as catalysers, or an exotic chemistry based on unstable organics from comets which might have been important to jump start these protocells and the strong radio-activity of early Earth...

But somehow i expect these conditions to be local occurances, but occurances nonetheless, on any rocky exoplanet of ~0.8-1.5g gravity orbiting at ~1 UA of a sun-like star (actually a T-tauri star) 4 billions years ago. Only the impact that created the Moon is certainly a rare event and as a huge agitator-shaker of chemical reactives, it was surely a huge boost for the cinetic of Life on Earth.
Maybe the protocells would have 'died' out of fuel without the tides resplenishing the pools with the organics from the comets. Isn't the symbolism of a small 'Theia' (the impactor) hitting the bigger 'Gaia' and fertilizing it, somehow puzzling? only the flagellum is missing (unless Theia was a huge comet?)


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: dickbill]
      #5438358 - 09/24/12 03:56 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...Protocells, or at least the vesicles that self-sustaining replicators, well that hasn't been done by humans as far as I know. It's that "critical step" that is probably a combination of many steps, steps that may require clay, or calcite, or ice, or evaporation, or acids, or bases, or some combination of several. It may require that the products of a clay reaction interact with products of an ice + evaporation reaction, or some other intricate chains of circumstance to assemble just the right molecules in just the right sequences.
...The question is, and will be for the forseeable future, in what set of natural environments can it happen again? And how broad or narrow are the circumstances that allow it?




Absolutely agree, You may also mention a rare combination of minerals acting as catalysers, or an exotic chemistry based on unstable organics from comets which might have been important to jump start these protocells and the strong radio-activity of early Earth...

But somehow i expect these conditions to be local occurances, but occurances nonetheless, on any rocky exoplanet of ~0.8-1.5g gravity orbiting at ~1 UA of a sun-like star (actually a T-tauri star) 4 billions years ago.




And that's the real question, isn't it. How typical is the Earth? There's a huge variety of planetary systems out there, which in one sense makes the Earth rare just by comparison with the other possible formation circumstances. And if all these local conditions need to occur in a certain sequence or at certain intensities, it may be pure chance as to whether it all comes together in the right way on any given planet.

I'm not making that as an argument, because I don't pretend to know. I'm not going to be laying bets either way.

Quote:


Only the impact that created the Moon is certainly a rare event and as a huge agitator-shaker of chemical reactives, it was surely a huge boost for the cinetic of Life on Earth.
Maybe the protocells would have 'died' out of fuel without the tides resplenishing the pools with the organics from the comets. Isn't the symbolism of a small 'Theia' (the impactor) hitting the bigger 'Gaia' and fertilizing it, somehow puzzling? only the flagellum is missing (unless Theia was a huge comet?)




Actually, I'm not sure a Theia-class impact is really all that rare during the accretion process. Maybe a Moon-sized result is.

Right now it just seems like the formation of planetary systems is so chaotic and so diverse, that just about any scenario is possible -- which makes any specific scenario pretty rare.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: scopethis]
      #5438591 - 09/24/12 06:25 PM

Though I can think of a number of hypothetical scenarios, an interstellar SPCA is as good a metaphorical description as any.

Perhaps, thinking in terms of a hyper advanced signal interceptor and dissimulator is not helpful. Perhaps I need to limit the variables a bit.

So, lets try this; there is some governmental agency that is very uneasy about the social and political impact a verified signal from an interstellar source might have on the social and political fabric of humanity. So let's imagine GOVERNMENT wants to prevent further WOW signals from the single identified source the original signal came from, being received by the various independent radio astronomers around the world. Could it be done? How could it be done?

The silence is deafening.


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Jarad
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5438610 - 09/24/12 06:44 PM

The government doesn't have the technology to block the signal. The closest they could come would be to jam it by broadcasting a powerful local signal at the same wavelength, but this would not be subtle - everyone would know it was being jammed.

I think it is a lot more likely that it was just a spurious signal than that there is some consipracy by some powerful agency to keep us in the dark about it.

Jarad


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... [Re: Jarad]
      #5438887 - 09/24/12 10:30 PM

We have no evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligent life. The options for this silence/absence include:
A. There are no other such civilizations.
B. They are very few in number.
C. Our radio technology is inadequate to the task of making contact.
D. Someone is interfering with/covering up/dissimulating the possible evidence of presence.

I believe that covers the major options.

For the four options listed A through D, please list them in the order you feel they should be listed indicating a more likely to least likely explanation for the silence/absence we are experiencing.

Here is mine: B, A, D, C


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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: The silence is deafening.... [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5438924 - 09/24/12 10:56 PM

E. They aren't transmitting for reasons that have nothing to do with us.

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