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Saturday, November 5, 2016

ETI Signals Would Look Like This

Well, the answer to the age-old question, "Are We Alone?" - might, very well, soon be answered. And if the current, apparent, scenario is confirmed by two other teams of astronomers, that answer will be: "No. We Are Not." - for better or for worse.

Ermanno F. Borra and F. Trottier, two astronomers from Quebec's, Laval University have published a paper in the Astronomical Journal, announcing that they have received signals, from an area of space that contains 234 stars of near-Solar spectral type, that, after having ruled out all of the 3 other possible causes, exactly correspond to an ETI communications hypothesis published prior to their most recent submission.

Graph from the Astronomical Journal of December 2012.
Graph from the Astronomical Journal of December 2012.

Astronomers, generally, have an idea of what would likely be expected in an intentional beacon signal, broadcast by an extraterrestrial civilization to the stars. It might be a signal generated in the radio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, or, the more recently favored optical window near to, or including, the visible light band. A signal generated from the latter would be visually detectable by humans, and interestingly, I think, by any ET species which had evolved on a planet of a star in the F-G-M spectral range. Our star, of course, is a type G2V yellow dwarf star, "Sol", or, the Sun. They would want to direct their signals at stars similar to their parent star, for this reason.

Borra and Trottier's paper shows signals, embedded in the SDSS (Sloan Digital Sky Survey), spectra that conform to these expectations, in the form of nano-bursts, or, pulses, which include varied and repeating time intervals in between, which were outlined in Borra's previous work and which are, "so unusual that it can only be artificial. A most unusual signal would be made of a spectral modulation of the spectrum that is so unusual that it warrants more observations, which will then reveal that it is artificial." Borra and Trottier make it clear that the signals confirm "exactly" as outlined in the paper of 16 OCT 2016 to the Astronomical Journal. Current technology allows humans, to send such signals out to at least 1,000 light-years, without any significant degradation, using a spectroscope and a 10-meter optical telescope, at an energetic 15,000 photons per 3 nanoseconds.

Any signal by an ETI located at a distance of 1,000 light-years from Earth, means that the signal had to have been sent at least 1,000 years ago. Considering the current level of human technology, ETI technology, which was the rough equivalent of humans 1,000 years ago must be wildly advanced by present-day standards.

The commonality here is the EMS. It's available to anyone, anywhere, and obeys the same physical laws bestowed upon Earthlings. It would be the universally agreed-upon method of trying to get the attention of any other sentient beings that may exist in the galaxy.

The ETI hypothesis as a source for the signals is the only hypothesis that was not ruled out by Borra and Trottier but it needs confirmation by at least two other teams, trying to find natural reasons for the signals.

So - the answer to that age-old question - is still ways off, for now.

Dale Alan Bryant
Senior Contributing Science Writer

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