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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 22

Re: Astronomers Get Ready To Call E.T.

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@get2net.dk>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 23:38:11 +0100 (MET)
Fwd Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999 00:27:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Astronomers Get Ready To Call E.T.

Forwarded from "alt.alien.visitors".



From: twitchb@worldnet.att.net
Subject: Astronomers Get Ready to Call E.T.
Date: 21 Jan 1999 18:04:38 GMT

Thought this might be of interest to some on these newsgroups.


Astronomers Get Ready to Call E.T.


Physicists are announcing today that they have designed a
message to be broadcast in the direction of nearby stars in
order to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

This project is being presented by Dr. Yvan Dutil and Stephane
Dumas from the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier, near
Quebec City (Canada), to the American Astronomical Society
meeting in Austin, TX.  This is the first time in a quarter of a
century that such a cosmic call will be attempted. This
experiment is promoted by the Encounter 2001 project, an
international spaceflight project which is planned for launch
into interstellar space in the year 2001.

The complete message is about 400,000 bits long and will be
transmitted three times over a 3-hour period in the direction of
the four selected stars. Then, it will be followed by a series
of greetings from people around the world. The transmission will
start on March 15 1999. This message is much larger in size,
duration and scope than the one sent by Frank Drake on November
16th, 1974 from the Arecibo observatory which consisted of only
1,679 bits sent over a 3 minute duration.

Finding a transmitter for this task was not easy; the project
will use a 70 m (230 ft) Ukrainian antenna equipped with a 150
kW transmitter broadcasting at 5 GHz (6 cm). Using this antenna,
any civilization within 100 light-years which has access to a
radio-telescope with an area of one squared-kilometer will be
able to read the message. The artificial nature of the message
should be able to be detected by similar instruments at
distances up to 10,000 light-years. A radio-telescope of this
size will be built on Earth in the near future.

The message itself has been designed using some of the
principles of interstellar communication proposed in the early
works of Hans Freudenthal, Frank Drake and Carl Sagan.
Mathematics and physics have been used to define the message, so
that it will be clear and based on universal concepts. For
example, the hydrogen atom can be used to describe quantities
such as mass, electric charge and length. To these basic ideas
were added simple notions of astronomy, biology, geography and
cosmology. Easier concepts and ideas are at the beginning while
the more elaborate ones appear at the end of the message. Any
true communication is not complete without an answer. Therefore,
the last page of the message invites anyone who reads it to
reply, sending information about themselves.

The message has been built to minimize the loss of information
due to noise introduced into the signal during its interstellar
flight. To minimize the risk of confusion, a set of characters
was created which are fairly different from each other.
Redundant information is included to allow cross-checking of the
message. The addition of a frame around each page of the
message, and the inclusion of page and section numbers will also
help the translation process.

For many years, most research projects dedicated to the Search
for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have scanned the sky
trying to detect any signals sent by extra-terrestrial
civilizations willing to communicate with us. So far, the sky
has remained silent. All these searches have been passive: what
is proposed now is to send a message in order to catch the
attention of an extra-terrestrial civilization.

In order to maximize the probability of detection, the direction
of the transmission has been carefully chosen to include stars
similar to our Sun, and to limit the degradation of the signal
as it travels through the vast reaches of interstellar space.
Fortunately, there is a region between the spiral arms of our
galaxy where the signal can be transmitted over long distances
without too much degradation. This region is situated between 50
and 90 degrees of galactic longitude, which corresponds roughly
to the region of the sky called the "Summer Triangle". Four
stars, clones of our Sun, have been selected from the list made
by the SETI institute. These target stars are located at
distances between 50 and 70 light-years from the Sun.

Target List:

Names      l  |b|  a (J2000)     d (J2000)     Type
D(Lyr)  V

HD190360  67   1  20h03m37.41s  +29d53m48.51s  G7V
51.8   5.73

HD190406  57   8  20h04m06.23s  +17d04m12.64s  G1V
57.6   5.08

HD186408  83  13  19h41m48.95s  +50d31m30.21s  G3V
70.5   5.99

HD178428  50   4  19h07m57.32s  +16d51m12.24s  G6V
68.3   6.08

Table headings: l and |b| are the coordinates of the target star
in galactic latitude and (absolute) longitude, while a and d
give the Right Ascension and Declination of the star in the
J2000 coordinate system. The star's spectral type is given next;
for comparison, our Sun is a G2V. The next column gives the
distances to each star in light years. The last column gives the
Visual magnitude (brightness) of each star.

You can also visit the web site of the Encounter 2001 project:


Andrew Yee


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