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Space Science

New Europe-Wide Radio Telescope To Look For ET 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the phone-011-then-home dept.
astroengine writes "A new radio telescope is under construction, consisting of 44 stations (each consisting of several antennae) spread across Europe. The pan-European Low Frequency Array is half built and already returning unprecedented observations of cosmic radio sources. The best thing is, when it's complete, SETI will be able to use the array to seek out transmitting extraterrestrial civilizations in these untapped low radio frequencies."
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New Europe-Wide Radio Telescope To Look For ET

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  • Re:First Post? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @11:24PM (#31853502) Homepage
    I've always found it interesting how we assume that aliens will follow time at the same rate we do. As far as aliens are concerned, this could be a really really high frequency, and we humans move really fast. I'm not implying any physics screweyness... just the speed at which we move and process things happening.
  • It's not about ET (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bromoseltzer (23292) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @11:51PM (#31853702) Homepage Journal
    It's about science - mapping radio galaxies at high resolution at VHF frequencies. Really hard to do that amidst all the RF on those freqs. SETI is nice, but it's nice to get real results, too. Not to mention pretty pictures.
  • Re:First Post? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday April 15, 2010 @12:47AM (#31853982) Homepage

    This is a fascinating point.

    The odds that any 2 un-introduced civilizations might be dabbling with RF communications at the same time are probably pretty slim.

    OTOH, we are backwards-compatible. Someone around here knows semiphore protocols, morse code over light, i'll bet someone on /. even knows a thing or two about smoke signals.

    The odds that any civilization who surpasses RF communication completely abandons all knowledge of it is probably pretty slim.

  • Re:First Post? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday April 15, 2010 @05:46AM (#31855320) Journal
    Don't get me wrong I think science is the only genuinely usefull philosphy we have. However once a technological species arises on a planet it will rapidly dominate the environment and it's population will explode. In all other species such population growth rapidly consumes the available resourse then promptly drops of the proverbial cliff. It's only in the last century that our technology and population have reached the point where it's plausible that we could wipe ourselves out with nuclear war or environmental vandalisim.

    Perhaps we don't hear ET because tecnological species are an evolutionanary flash in the pan, on geologic times scales as soon as they aquire the ability to destroy themselves they do so. Perhaps there are billions of life bearing planets where the only trace of technology is a mass extinction event marked by a layer of plastic and radioisotopes burried in the rock [wikipedia.org] and a "razor thin" ripple of communication signals expanding across the cosomos. What would be the chances that Earth just happened to be sitting in one of those ripples at this particular point in cosmological history?

Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

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