Optical-SETI anomaly

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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... And indeed, in the first week of last December (2008) Bhathal's team detected an unusual strong laser signal that could not have been identified nor did it re-occur since: "It may be a glitch in our equipment, or some astrophysical phenomena (e.g an optical pulsar) or some unknown source. We are still investigating it", told Bhathal to the German online-newsmagazine "Grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.de"...
http://grenzwissenschaft-aktuell.blogspot.com/2009/05/australian-seti-astronomers-detect.html
 

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  • #2
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http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25448647-30417,00.html [Broken]

But when Ragbir Bhathal, an astrophysicist at the University of Western Sydney, who teaches the only university-based course on SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) in Australia, detected the suspicious signal on a clear night last December, he knew better than to crack open the special bottle of champagne he has tucked away for the history-making occasion.

Instead, he's spent the past few months meticulously investigating whether the unrecognised signature was caused by a glitch in his instrumentation, a rogue astrophysical phenomenon, or some unknown random noise.

Even if he picks up the signal again - he's been scouring the same co-ordinates of the night sky on an almost daily basis since - the scientific rule book dictates he'll need to get it peer-reviewed before he can take his announcement to the world. "And that is a lot of ifs," he concedes.
 
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  • #3
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Interesting indeed, although it always seems that the signal lasts for a second and then disappears never to be heard again! Same thing happened with the 'Wow' signal. What does he mean by laser pulses anyway? I dont get how you could communicate using laser pulses to some rocket in outer space?
 
  • #4
Ivan Seeking
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Interesting indeed, although it always seems that the signal lasts for a second and then disappears never to be heard again! Same thing happened with the 'Wow' signal. What does he mean by laser pulses anyway? I dont get how you could communicate using laser pulses to some rocket in outer space?
http://seti.harvard.edu/oseti/
 
  • #5
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I dont get how you could communicate using laser pulses to some rocket in outer space?
it's been experimented before, I think the military is exploring this technology because of the insane bandwidth you can cram on a pulse of light

 
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  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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Yes, and we use pulsed LASER in every fiber optic line. It is the basis of modern communications technology.
 
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What does he mean by laser pulses anyway? I dont get how you could communicate using laser pulses to some rocket in outer space?

You would modulate it, like any other signal.
 
  • #8
ideasrule
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How often do optical anomalies that look like the detected pulse occur? Considering how prevalent laser equipment is, surely there's very good information on this?
 

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