Skip to comments.SETI Institute suspends search for aliens
Posted on 04/25/2011 7:58:00 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
If E.T. phones earth, he'll get a "disconnect" signal.
Lacking the money to pay its operating expenses, Mountain View's SETI Institute has pulled the plug on the renowned Allen Telescope Array, a field of radio dishes popularized in the Jodie Foster film "Contact" that scans the skies for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations.
In an April 22 letter to donors, SETI Institute CEO Tom Pierson explained that last week the array was put into "hibernation," safe but non-functioning, due to inadequate government support.
The timing couldn't be worse, say SETI scientists. After millenniums of musings, this spring astronomers announced that 1,235 new possible planets had been observed by Kepler, a telescope on a space satellite. They predict that dozens of these planets will be Earth-sized and some will be in the "habitable zone," where the temperatures are just right for liquid water, a prerequisite of life as we know it.
"There is a huge irony," said SETI director Jill Tartar, "that a time when we discover so many planets to look at, we don't have the operating funds to listen."
SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak compared the project's suspension to "the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria being put into dry dock"...This is about exploration, and we want to keep the thing operational. It's no good to have it sit idle."
It is the mission of the SETI Institute to explore the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. This is a profound search, it believes, because it explains our place among the stars.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
We need to find a way to find private fund for this.
Well, I sure don’t want taxpayer dollars funding it.
I suggest a bake sale.
Obama looked at it and said, “No votes there!”
There’s one in the White House.
let them try the Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate and sci-fi geek forums..
So far, all it's explained is that we are alone. Very alone. In a very big place.
Hey - they don’t need any array to find aliens - they’re lots of them right here in California... what they need to find is a fast way to send them back to where they came from!
"Dances with Wolves"
Wow - we actually found something the Gov't does NOT spend money on....
They could look for that birth certificate...
“I suggest a bake sale.”
I have cookbook I found at a garage sale. “How to Serve Man”.
And is there anybody else creeped out about why they aren’t SEARCHING for the aliens anymore!?
If you accept Einstein’s theories we have been wasting money on this all along.
Even if we hear some one, we probably could not answer, and they would not be likely to visit with the time involved for the trip.
Which might be the only thing to save us.
Graphic didn’t post...
We could tax science fiction movies.
We know they exist now.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
SETI was almost guaranteed to fail, because of the inverse square law.
The only way to have star-to-star communications at the speed of light, that have enough power to reach each other, is by using the star itself.
In particular, by making a grid in space, in which are panels of a plastic type material that normally are opaque, until an electric current is put through them, then they become transparent.
For centuries now, ships at sea have communicated with shaded lights in much the same way. They work at night, during storms, even some degree of fog, blinking their coded messages and responses.
The further from the star the grid is located, the smaller it can be, but the more accurately it must plot the location of the receiving star system after the dozens or hundreds of years have passed for the message to reach its destination.
Wiki (fwiw) says so too. Though it explains that the VLA wasn't used to listen for extraterrestrials. That must be the difference.
Maybe planned Parenthood and P.B.S. will close up shop for the same reason.
Total waste of time and money. Trying to communicate over cosmic distances with radio waves would be worse than me trying to send a message to German cousins by splashing stones in Baltimore harbor and hoping the Germans would be able to read the message in the ripple waves when they got to Bremen.
I was a proponent of SETI, having been a ham radio operator all my life, but it was operational long enough to show that
the likelihood of life within 25 light years was unlikely.
I admit to teasing the ET groupies on FR, and I do listen to them on Kook to Kook, but the evidence of ET being here is somewhere between slim and none.
When you consider that the nearest star that might have life supporting planets is 11 light years away, it is hard to conceive of intelligent beings flying here, unless we discover the scifi concept of worm holes and other such anomalies.
For all the so-called sightings, NOTHING has come even close to proof.
We were all quite interested back in 1958, as it was 22 years since high power TV signals had originated.
The thought was that they had 11 years to reach this star,
and 11 years for an alien signal to be directed back to us.
Still today, no cigar.
It's used for SETI but "science" too.
One of those telescopes, I think the one in Peru, has my name on it because of my donation. (Back in the early days, many years ago)
‘Obama looked at it and said, No votes there!’
I’m shocked that the Messiah would give up on funding SETI. After all, most of these aliens are clearly one million or more years old and could vote. He doesn’t seem to have the slightest problem with all the other aliens that he seems to covet.
If they want to contact aliens, check the southern border. If they want to talk to extra-terrestrials, there’s a Wookie in the White House [And her mate is one strange agent, himself].
Spoken like an illogical liberal...
Duh... it doesn't matter if we visually discovered these new planets, if they were emitting RF signals SETI would have found them whether we see them or not.
Uh!, yes this makes alot of sense!
The world spends billions on Hubble + technology; but decides that SETI technology is totally bogus.
Hey, yesterday the particle blaster might have found the “God particle”: the beginning of the mass of the universe.
Nah, no science here, just move on to your high ground global warm corrected location!
“Trying to communicate over cosmic distances with radio waves” It might be possible to just catch some broadcast, but an answer? I don’t think “communication” is the actual goal. It would be nice to see this continue with private funds or maybe we can tie it to global warming.
Or they’re hiding from us!
It’s been outsourced to Mumbai.
Scale it down. Not listening is wrong.
good riddance. if this is so important then i’m sure bill gates or warren buffet can fund it. no reason to take tax $$ from working stiffs to fund this b.s.
OMG! WHAT IS GEORGE NOURI GOING TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>>> Seth Shostak compared the project’s suspension to “the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria being put into dry dock”..
Bad analogy. The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria were scows, pretty much used up anyway at the time Columbus used them. And they weren’t the only ships available to sail the seas. If this dish array isn’t online, other receivers (such as the VLA, Green Bank, etc) around the world are.
I don’t particularly believe in intelligent alien life in any radius we can examine but still I’d like to see the project remain functional. No astronomical research is wasted. There are a lot of galaxies to be examined. Unplugging dishes won’t get that done.
I think it’s a waste of money. The Voyager probes indicate radio waves attenuate greater than theorized over large distances. Unless someone is using a high powered directional attenna aimed exactly at earth or a star as a transmitter we will never hear them.
Scientific research has on many occasions made discoveries that were not part of the original studies.
If "private funds" are not available for 100% of a SETI program perhaps there are other programs that can find funding.
90% funding for other research and as little as 10% SETI research is better than nothing for the SETI researchers.
The hardware is still in place. Are there private funds available to operate it for whatever propose?
Good. Let ‘em find their OWN money to fund this boondoggle. There’s nobody out there we could possibly talk to anyway. Earth is rare, maybe unique, in this galaxy, and we have no capability to communicate with another galaxy.
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I don’t think that we’re alone in the Universe, but in His infinite wisdom, God has separated us by impossible distances.
And then there are those who are alien to the American way. It would be nice if we could be thus separated from them as well. Sigh...