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SETI Institute suspends search for aliens
Mercury News ^ | 4/25/11 | Lisa M. Krieger

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 ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; allenarray; astronomy; jilltartar; search; sethshostak; seti; suspends; tompierson; xplanets

1 posted on 04/25/2011 7:58:05 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

We need to find a way to find private fund for this.


2 posted on 04/25/2011 7:59:09 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: Nowhere Man

Well, I sure don’t want taxpayer dollars funding it.


3 posted on 04/25/2011 8:00:18 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Nowhere Man
We need to find a way to find private fund for this.

I suggest a bake sale.

4 posted on 04/25/2011 8:00:28 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Obama looked at it and said, “No votes there!”


5 posted on 04/25/2011 8:01:00 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: NormsRevenge

There’s one in the White House.


6 posted on 04/25/2011 8:01:00 PM PDT by wastedyears (It has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with control.)
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To: Nowhere Man

let them try the Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate and sci-fi geek forums..


7 posted on 04/25/2011 8:02:07 PM PDT by max americana (FUBO)
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To: NormsRevenge
This is a profound search, it believes, because it explains our place among the stars.

So far, all it's explained is that we are alone. Very alone. In a very big place.

8 posted on 04/25/2011 8:04:59 PM PDT by gitmo (Hatred of those who think differently is the left's unifying principle.-Ralph Peters NY Post)
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To: NormsRevenge

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!


9 posted on 04/25/2011 8:05:07 PM PDT by Ron C.
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To: NormsRevenge
"There ain't nobody here, Lieutenant." "Now, why don't he write?"

"Dances with Wolves"

10 posted on 04/25/2011 8:06:26 PM PDT by stboz
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To: NormsRevenge
due to inadequate government support.

Wow - we actually found something the Gov't does NOT spend money on....

11 posted on 04/25/2011 8:06:29 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: NormsRevenge

They could look for that birth certificate...


12 posted on 04/25/2011 8:07:10 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (Birther on Board)
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To: NormsRevenge


13 posted on 04/25/2011 8:07:49 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize ;-{))
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To: NormsRevenge
the array was put into "hibernation," safe but non-functioning, due to inadequate government support.

Convince Congress that aliens might be interested in purchasing US debt, should take care of funding for decades.

In the meantime, interested private citizens should step up to cover the operating costs. The amount spent on endeavors like this is relatively trivial, but a search for extra-terrestrial life is an obvious target to eliminate when things are this bad.
14 posted on 04/25/2011 8:12:22 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Lurker

“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!?


15 posted on 04/25/2011 8:13:56 PM PDT by 21twelve ( You can go from boom to bust, from dreams to a bowl of dust ... another lost generation.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Don't we have some stimulus money left around somewhere?


16 posted on 04/25/2011 8:14:13 PM PDT by garjog
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


17 posted on 04/25/2011 8:17:48 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition (Loyal Sedition, often described as "To the right of Attila The Hun"!)
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To: JoeProBono

Graphic didn’t post...


18 posted on 04/25/2011 8:20:02 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 823 of our national holiday from reality. - What 3 AM phone call?)
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To: Nowhere Man

We could tax science fiction movies.

Or Clearasil.


19 posted on 04/25/2011 8:25:12 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (...a.k.a. "Norm L. C. Bias")
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To: 21twelve
And is there anybody else creeped out about why they aren’t SEARCHING for the aliens anymore!?

We know they exist now.

Disclosure

20 posted on 04/25/2011 8:26:25 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 823 of our national holiday from reality. - What 3 AM phone call?)
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To: NormsRevenge
Home Depot parking lot. They start gathering about 7:00 am.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

21 posted on 04/25/2011 8:45:57 PM PDT by wku man (Who says conservatives don't rock? www.myspace.com/10poundtest)
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


22 posted on 04/25/2011 8:46:55 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: NormsRevenge
The Allen Array was used in the movie? I thought it was the VLA (Very Large Array) in New Mexico that was featured in the film. From memory, some of the outdoors scenes of the radio telescopes themselves was from there.

Wiki (fwiw) says so too. Though it explains that the VLA wasn't used to listen for extraterrestrials. That must be the difference.


23 posted on 04/25/2011 8:46:59 PM PDT by BlueDragon (tonto he got smart said listenkimmosabe, kissmyass I boughtaboat, I'm headedout to sea)
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To: NormsRevenge
due to inadequate government support.

Maybe planned Parenthood and P.B.S. will close up shop for the same reason.

24 posted on 04/25/2011 9:07:44 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (Be the kind of man that when you get up in the morning, the devil says, "Oh crap, he's UP !!)
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


25 posted on 04/25/2011 9:19:44 PM PDT by wendy1946
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


26 posted on 04/25/2011 9:23:18 PM PDT by AlexW (Proud eligibility skeptic)
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To: All; NormsRevenge
It's named for Paul Allen, the Microsoft billionaire. He put $30 million into building it. Maybe he could spare a few more bucks.

It's used for SETI but "science" too.

27 posted on 04/25/2011 9:29:15 PM PDT by newzjunkey
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To: Nowhere Man

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)


28 posted on 04/25/2011 9:48:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: Cicero

‘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.


29 posted on 04/25/2011 9:50:25 PM PDT by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: NormsRevenge

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].


30 posted on 04/25/2011 10:01:58 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: All
“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.”


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.

31 posted on 04/25/2011 10:03:38 PM PDT by az_gila
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To: NormsRevenge

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!


32 posted on 04/25/2011 10:25:35 PM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose lips sink ships!)
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To: wendy1946

“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.


33 posted on 04/25/2011 10:26:31 PM PDT by enduserindy (Conservative Dead Head)
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To: gitmo

Or they’re hiding from us!


34 posted on 04/25/2011 10:30:21 PM PDT by WinOne4TheGipper (Put Trump in charge! It worked great for the USFL!)
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To: NormsRevenge

It’s been outsourced to Mumbai.


35 posted on 04/25/2011 10:51:07 PM PDT by MissMack99 (BO Stinks!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Scale it down. Not listening is wrong.


36 posted on 04/25/2011 11:50:20 PM PDT by allmost
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


37 posted on 04/25/2011 11:55:38 PM PDT by KingofZion
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To: NormsRevenge

OMG! WHAT IS GEORGE NOURI GOING TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!


38 posted on 04/25/2011 11:58:17 PM PDT by PROTESTBYPROXY (We are manning up!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

>>> 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.


39 posted on 04/26/2011 2:33:00 AM PDT by tlb
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To: Loyal Sedition

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.


40 posted on 04/26/2011 3:17:26 AM PDT by Justa
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To: tlb
No astronomical research is wasted...... Unplugging dishes won’t get that done.

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?

41 posted on 04/26/2011 3:24:13 AM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: NormsRevenge

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.


42 posted on 04/26/2011 5:54:15 AM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
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To: Rembrandt
Yeah, but the problem is, if space aliens enter the polling places in 2012, those guys are clearly illegal aliens, even if they take the trouble to get fake driver's licenses. Sure, Obama could go with them, and the media would fully cooperate, but people might get a little suspicious even with a news blackout.


43 posted on 04/26/2011 9:20:42 AM PDT by Cicero
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To: KevinDavis; Perdogg; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...

Thanks NormsRevenge, but this is impossible -- everyone *knows* that SETI wasn't funded with tax dollars. /s
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

44 posted on 04/28/2011 9:17:44 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Thanks Cincinna for this link -- http://www.friendsofitamar.org)
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To: SunkenCiv

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...


45 posted on 04/29/2011 7:00:25 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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