Archive for June, 2010

Endless Worlds Beckon

“I’ve sometimes wondered”, Enoch said, “if the stars are other suns, might there not be other planets and other people, too”…

“You believe that?” asked the stranger.

Enoch said, “It was just an idle notion.”

“Not so idle,” said the stranger. “There are other planets and there are other people. I am one of them.”

Clifford D. Simak, Way Station (1963)

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SETI SuperStar Award

This blog has won February’s SETI SuperAward, but, somehow I didn’t know it until today…maybe I wasn’t pointing in the proper direction to pick up the signal so far…

As stated on the site, the “SETI SuperStar Award carries with it no cash honorarium or any other consideration. Appropriate recognition is the sole prize.” but for me represents a lot, represents above all that people are enjoying the work done here.

And what does this mean?
That we should work harder!

Let’s not keep the pace, let’s improve it!

An heartfelt O-B-R-I-G-A-D-O! to the fantastic crew of collaborators.

Rui Borges


On June 16th, Scientific American posted a quite amazing, quite historic story on its web site that went largely unnoticed by the Outside World. Outside the astronomy community that is; more specifically, outside the residents of the Wisteria Lane of the astronomy community that is interested in the hunt for and study of exo-planets – planets that circle other stars Out There in the Great Black.

The SciAm story was announcing that KEPLER, the planet-hunting telescope, has identified more than 700 candidate planets in orbit around faraway, alien suns. That on its own made the story exciting. But tucked away in the report was one line, one quote, that when I read it literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end…

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Classification of Interstellar Radio Messages

During the preparation and transmission of any interstellar radio messages (IRMs), some scientific and technological issues need to be addressed. The paper «Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence» (METI) [1] lists nine of such issues. We propose to rank planned and already sent IRMs depending on how well three basic METI’s issues are resolved in them. These basic issues are the following: (1) choice of the target stars, (2) energy required per bit of the information, and (3) availability of a special digital or analog key to allow Aliens to decode our message, [2]. In order to rank IRMs, it is necessary to find out whether there are serious concerns regarding of how these three issues were addressed.

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The gods of the Earth will wait for us in the distance

An always tricky subject has been the naming of exoplanets, with their number quickly rising it will not be far in the future that we will reach the first thousand of planets discovered beyond the Solar System.

Will we keep naming them as catalog entries or will we move towards another direction? One that can capture the imagination of the world’s people?

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