Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hard to Prove a Negative; ET Edition

Put away the red carpet, people. We are now definitely sure that the star KIC 8462852, 1,500 light-years away and hypothesized to potentially have signs of an advanced alien civilization, doesn’t host intelligent extraterrestrial life.

This confirmation comes from the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) International organization. While the SETI Institute in California had previously searched for signals indicative of advanced life coming from the star, this latest round of observations was much more intensive. Sadly, it appears there is nothing there.

"The hypothesis of an alien megastructure around KIC 8462852 is rapidly crumbling apart," said Douglas Vakoch, President of SETI International and an author of the paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, available on Arxiv, in a statement. "We found no evidence of an advanced civilization beaming intentional laser signals toward Earth.”
Why would an "advanced civilization" 1,500 light-years away from Earth be beaming laser signals at us? How would they know that this planet is inhabited, let alone has a civilization that could receive such signals? At that distance, the earliest we could expect them to notice that the Earth is inhabited and then send a signal our would be some time in the 48th Century, if they could notice a change in atmospheric CO2 levels, or the 50th Century, if they detected RF emissions.

Beyond that, who knows in what form an advanced civilization might communicate? Analog RF is rapidly falling out of favor; to somebody in 1955, a digital signal would sound like random noise.

Finally, why the hell would we want to attract the attention of any advanced civilization? Our history of two civilizations interacting doesn't inspire optimism. A very advanced civilization might regard us as vermin with a potential to be dangerous, and you can guess how things would go from there.

1 comment:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Maybe they're hungry?
See http://www.terrybisson.com/page6/page6.html