mercredi 25 février 2015

Try to contact aliens is not risky

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February 25, 2015

Astrophysicists wishing for sending signals to establish contact with aliens has rejected fears that this initiative which could threaten Earth.

"For fifty years we pointed radio telescopes to the stars in search of signals from other civilizations, but without success," said Douglas Vakoch, a scientist at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), during a presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Society for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting this week in San Jose, California. "With this Active SETI program, we reverse the process to take an active role in providing powerful information-rich signals to other worlds in the hope to have an answer," he added.

Image above: The 305-meter telescope at Arecibo Observatory is just one of a collection That Will SETI use to search nearby stars for electronic signals indicate indication That Could Intelligent life.

These messages would be sent to relatively nearby stellar systems with potentially habitable planets. According to these astrophysicists, such an approach is more promising than previous attempts to make contact with aliens, as the disk on board the two Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, containing sounds and images selected to be a portrait of the diversity of life and the terrestrial culture.

Radio signals have also been sent for this purpose in the cosmos. In 1999, Russian scientists sent their own messages with the telescope Yevpatoria in the Crimea, and in 2008, NASA, the US space agency has forwarded the Beatles song "Across the Universe" toward the North Star, a distance of 430 years light. Through the use of today's most powerful radio telescopes, Seth Shostak, director of the SETI Institute, said in the same statement Thursday that it would broadcast to the stars all the content of the Internet, which would allow another civilization would capture these signals to decipher all of human history and culture.

Images above: The Arecibo message and its primary objective: the globular cluster M13.

"Progress of future generations"

The researchers acknowledge that their project is controversial citing reservations including Stephen Hawking, for which such transmissions would be "irresponsible". The British astrophysicist highlighted the fact that human history provides many examples of tragic encounters for less advanced civilizations such as the Incas with the Spanish. But proponents Active SETI forcefully reject these arguments, which they fall under the "paranoia".

Images above: Front and reverse sides of the Golden Record on board the Voyager 1 & 2 spacecrafts.

Seth Shostak argues that "it is in any case too late to worry about signal our presence" to prospective AND bellicose. "Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial civilization to attack and vaporize the Earth can easily pick up our radio broadcasts, we broadcast since the Second World War," he noted. For him, if one wanted to prohibit the dissemination of signals in space, it would also prevent the use of military radar systems and airports, and why not lights of cities.

"Such actions undermine paranoid all the activities and progress of future human generations," he ruled. Dismissing paranoid accusations, David Brin, astrophysicist and author of science fiction, called for a moratorium before sending these messages. "We offer a call to an international consensus and public consultation before humanity will make an irreversible step, namely to report loudly our presence in the cosmos," said the writer in front of AAAS.

For more informqation about the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), visit:

Images, Text, Credits: AFP / SETI /NROA / R.Gralak/ NASA/Wikimedia/ Aerospace.


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