E.T. Phoning Earth?

Wednesday, September 01 2004 @ 11:03 pm EDT

Contributed by: bobmoody

UPDATE: A false alarm this time, but still a possibility at any time! Read Charley McLane's comment for the official SETI@home response.

An announcement through the SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) program sponsored by the Planetary Society has found what may turn out to be the first signal from another world. A signal from the area between Aries and Pisces and centered at the radio frequency matching that of the Universe’s most abundant element, hydrogen, was reported in New Scientist magazine Thursday, September 2. The report states that the signal was found in the exact same location on three separate occasions when the giant 1000 foot diameter radio telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico scanned that portion of the sky. For the signal to have been found on more than one occasion and at that particular frequency is highly unusual. More searches in that area will conducted and if the same results are found on the fourth, fifth, or even sixth time, the scientific will be clamoring for a public announcement that a possible alien signal has been found. Scientists are excited about the possibility that this could really be it, a possible signal from a far-off civilization. If it turns out to be so, how will we proceed with trying to communicate with that civilization? Any signals we send in that direction will take the same amount of time to reach them as their signal took to reach us. If it turns out to be that the signal came from a star 20 or 50 light-years away, then that would mean that our signal would take 20 to 50 years to reach them, then another equal amount of time for us to expect a response back. Millions of people around the world are running a screensaver on their computers which analyze signals received by Aricebo. Anyone can download a copy of this same program known as “SETI@ Home”. Our links section contains an address if our readers would care to join in the search. STAY TUNED! This could be the start of the most exciting thing in human history. Better yet, download SETI@ Home and join in the excitement yourself.

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