The Chinese telescope found no strange signs.  The search continues.

The Chinese telescope found no strange signs. The search continues.

It was a project that launched a thousand dreams into the stars.

Fifty years ago, NASA published a 253-page book called “Project Cyclops.” He summarized the results of NASA’s workshop on exploring foreign cultures. A joint team of astronomers, engineers and biologists concluded that a wide range of radio telescopes with 1,000 antennas up to 100 meters in diameter, cyclops, is required. At the time, the project cost US $ 10 billion. Astronomers say they can detect strange signals 1,000 light-years away.

The report begins with a quote from astronomer Frank Drake, now Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz:

At the moment, almost certainly, radio waves sent by other intelligent cultures are falling to earth. A telescope can be built that can be directed to the right place and tune the right frequency to detect these waves. One day, from somewhere in the stars, many of the oldest, most important and most exciting questions asked by humanity will be answered.

Cyclops’ report, which has not been published for a long time but is available online, will be a bible for a generation of astronomers who dream that science can answer questions about existence.

Jill Tartar, who read the report as a graduate student and devoted her life to the pursuit of supernatural intelligence, said, “For the first time, we have technology that allows us to experiment rather than ask priests and philosophers.” Interview a decade ago.

Assigned to him …NASA

Cyclops and the work that inspired me this week came to mind when word spread around the world that Chinese astronomers had discovered a radio signal that had the characteristics of a supernatural civilization – that is, its bandwidth was extremely narrow. 140,604 MHz, an exact nature that would not normally be achieved by itself.

He made the discovery through a huge new telescope called the Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope or Fast. The telescope was directed to an exoplanet called Kepler 438b, a rock 1.5 times the size of Earth and orbiting the red dwarf star hundreds of light-years away in the constellation Lira, the so-called habitable zone Kepler 438. Its surface temperature is estimated to be 37 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a candidate for life.

Soon, an article in the government science and technology daily about the discovery disappeared. Chinese astronomers throw cold water at the result.

Zhang Tongji, chief scientist at ET. China Civilization Research Group, quoted in this newspaper Andre Jones, journalist Those who follow Chinese developments in space and astronomy say: “Suspicious signals are also highly likely to be a form of radio interference and need further confirmation or omission. It can be a long process. “

“These signals are radio interference; They are due to radio pollution on Earth, not ET, “he wrote in an email.

It became a familiar story. For half a century, SETI, or the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence, has been searching for promising signals before reaching the orbit of satellites, microwave ovens and other terrestrial sources. Drake himself showed a radio telescope to a pair of stars in 1960 and soon realized that he had found gold, only to find that the radar signal had been lost.

Recently, a signal approaching the nearest stellar explosion, Proxima Centauri, was discovered by a radio intervention in Australia.

Just as NASA announced last week that it would invest modestly in the scientific study of unidentified flying objects, so too did the agency’s Cyclops workshop at Stanford aim to bring accuracy and practicality to what many criticized as security considerations. A period of three months in 1971. The conference was organized by astronomer John Bellingham and Bernard Oliver, head of research at Hewlett-Packard Corporation. The men also edited the conference report.

In the preface, Dr. Oliver wrote that if anything happened to Cyclops, this year would be considered the most important year of his life.

Emeritus, a professor of physics at Harvard University, has continued to design and launch his own listening campaign called Project META, funded by the Planetary Society, said Paul Horowitz. Film director Steven Spielberg (“ET” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) attended the 1985 official opening at the Harvard-Smithsonian Agency Station in Harvard, Massachusetts.

“SETI was real!” Dr. Horowitz added.

But what about Dr. Oliver’s initial award was the only “Golden Fleece” award from Wisconsin Democrat Senator William Proxmeier, who campaigned against what he saw as a waste of government.

“In my opinion, this project should be delayed by a few million light years,” he said.

On Columbus Day 1992, NASA launched a truly limited search. A year later, Congress repealed it at the request of Nevada Democrat Senator Richard Bryan. Since the denial of federal support, the SETI initiative, funded by a grant to the non-profit organization SETI in Mountain View, California, has slowed down. Recently, with a donation of 100 million, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner created a new initiative called Hacking Listen. Dr. Horowitz and others have expanded their research into what they call “optical SETI”, where they observe the sky for laser flashes from distant cultures.

Dr. Horowitz said that cyclops were never built, which is also the case, “because by today’s standards they would have become a huge, expensive animal.” Technological advances, such as radio receivers that can listen to billions of radio frequencies at once, have changed the game.

China’s new large high-speed telescope, also known as the “Sky Eye”, is designed with SETI in mind. Its antenna occupies a pit at Guizhou in southwest China. The size of the antenna of the famous Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico is dwarf, which shamefully collapsed in December 2020.

Now FAST and its inspectors have gone through their own false alarm tests. SETI astronomers say there will be more.

Those who persist in praying that the Great Peace, as it is called, will not be disappointed. He says he always did long-term research.

“The Great Silence is not expected,” Horowitz said, not least because only a fraction of the galaxy’s 200 million stars have been surveyed. No one said it would be easy to find this shower of space radio signals.

“It may not happen in my life, but it will happen,” Vertimer said.

“All the signals discovered by SETI researchers so far have been made by their own civilization, not another civilization,” Wertheimer said in a series of email and phone conversations. He said that the people of the earth would have to build telescopes on the moon to protect themselves from the increasing radiation pollution of the earth and from the interference of the orbiting satellites.

The current time could be a unique window for tracking Earth’s SETI, he said.

“A hundred years ago,” he said, “the sky was clear, but we didn’t know what to do.” “A hundred years from now, heaven will no longer exist.”

Analysis Franke

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