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AuthorTopic: NASA Astrobiology News Conference  (Read 2275 times)

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Offline Franko

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2010, 03:31:07 PM »
Quote from: whabang;596932
Pulses of infrared light.


I can't even communicate with my TV or DVD with an infrared remote control from certain parts of the room, let alone communicate across the vast expanses of space with it (could someone move them damn planets out of the way please...) ;)
 

Offline Karlos

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2010, 03:52:55 PM »
Communication over interstellar distances using any electromagnetic energy is going to be a bit futile for anything with lives as brief as ours.
int p; // A
 

Offline Franko

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2010, 04:41:45 PM »
Quote from: Karlos;596981
Communication over interstellar distances using any electromagnetic energy is going to be a bit futile for anything with lives as brief as ours.


Whilst I'll never accept the theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light (and that's all it is, a theory) even if mankind does achieve interstellar space travel at lightspeed, how would you be able to communicate within a reasonable time period over such distances & speeds when as you say electromagnetic energy is totally futile.

I've seen one or two documentaries where they are working on various forms of communication using different areas of the light spectrum, but they all suffer from the same problems. Any light source (whether visible or invisable to the human eye) than man can create suffers from dissipation over such large distances and their would also be the need to reflect or bend them to reach their target.

Short of aliens landing or some genius coming up with something totally new, then as you say with 'lives as brief as ours' it's gonna be several more millennia before mankind even breaches our own little solar system... :)
 

Offline Karlos

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2010, 04:49:22 PM »
@Franko

I just have to say, with respect to general relativity, it stopped being a "theory" in "well it's just a theory, isn't it?" sense when time dilation and bending of light by gravity were experimentally demonstrated. Both phenomena are now well recognised. Indeed, even GPS positioning satellites have to take these effects into consideration.

So, the objection that you can't make an object travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum just by pushing it harder in the direction you are trying to accelerate seems a perfectly solid one.

I suspect that if travel over such distances in a manageable time-scale is to be accomplished, it will be by "cheating" in some way.
int p; // A
 

Offline Franko

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2010, 05:15:04 PM »
@ Karlos


Yes it has been as you say 'experimentally demonstrated' but it's not the point I was trying to make. While science to me is my religion I still question a lot of it, even the proven stuff. The whole problem with science is it's limited by the human imagination.

Just because we can't yet prove to ourselves that lightspeed without "cheating" eg: the bending of space and time, cannot be exceeded and is therefore the fastest speed possible. I'm pretty certain that there is something yet to be discovered that would blow the socks off the speed of light.

Just as the topic of this thread turned out to be about these hithertoo unknown bacteria having only just been discovered, so are a lot more things yet to be discovered that neither you nor I or even the best scientific minds could even at this point in time begin to even have the slightest inkling of even coming up with. It's all a matter of time (hmm... time something we live our lives by and yet it's merely another human concept and only exists in our own little human minds, but that's a whole other subject...) ;)
 

Offline adz

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Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2010, 11:03:04 PM »
Not saying this discovery isn't interesting, just not as exciting as the hype implied.
 

Offline kedawa

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2010, 11:58:13 PM »
This kind of mutation has probably occurred many times in many different species, but because of its unique chemical environment, this bacteria is the only one that actually gained an advantage from it and retained it.  It's interesting, but nothing that justifies the suspense NASA tried to build for it.

Quote from: Franko;596510
The only one thing I find odd about current science and the search for life (ie:SETI) is the presumption that other forms of life out their would use radio waves to communicate, just because we haven't broken past this barrier yet doesn't mean that other life forms haven't either. They may use some other currently unknown to us form of communication that we have yet to even dream of... Just a thought... :)
The other odd thing about it is that SETI would likely only detect analog broadcasts.  Digital radio broadcasts are practically indistinguishable from static.
Human civilization will stop using analog communications in the very near future, so even if aliens are in fact following a similar technological path to our own, they might only be using detectable radio signals for a century or so.  That's a pretty small window of opportunity for us to detect their signals.
 

Offline Karlos

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2010, 12:05:51 AM »
Quote from: kedawa;597125
The other odd thing about it is that SETI would likely only detect analog broadcasts.  Digital radio broadcasts are practically indistinguishable from static.
Human civilization will stop using analog communications in the very near future, so even if aliens are in fact following a similar technological path to our own, they might only be using detectable radio signals for a century or so.  That's a pretty small window of opportunity for us to detect their signals.

Actually, digitally encoded data may sound like static when played through a radio expecting it to be a modulated analogue signal that it's circuitry can recover, but to a dedicated signal analyser that makes no such assumption, digital signals (particularly fixed-rate bitstream ones) are often easier to detect than analogue ones.
int p; // A
 

Offline Franko

Re: NASA Astrobiology News Conference
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2010, 01:25:19 AM »
The point I  am making though is what are the chances that some far off civilization followed the same route as us ie: electricity, radio waves etc...
It's only human arrogance that we propose and surmise that any other life form out their must use the same technologies & science that we do... :)