Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

We are now told of radio emissions from an alien world…

arroba Email

From a planet orbiting beyond our sun:

Scientists may have detected radio emissions from a planet orbiting a star beyond our sun for the first time.

The astronomers behind the new research used a radio telescope in the Netherlands to study three different stars known to host exoplanets. The researchers compared what they saw to observations of Jupiter, diluted as if being seen from a star system dozens of light-years away. And one star system stood out: Tau Boötes, which contains at least one exoplanet. If the detection holds up, it could open the door to better understanding the magnetic fields of exoplanets and therefore the exoplanets themselves, the researchers hope…

However, Turner and his colleagues aren’t yet positive that the signal they detected really is coming from the planet, dubbed Tau Boötes b; the researchers called for additional observations of the system, which is about 51 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Boötes.

Meghan Bartels, “Scientists May Have Detected Radio Emissions From an Alien World” at RealClearScience (December 8, 2020)

Like space junk Oumuamua, it’ll almost certainly turn out to be nothing. So why … ?

It’s a legitimate question, at this point, whether “science” is just cultural territory now—a way of saying that one is Woke, Cool, and progressive. Depending on where you work, no actual results may be required.

See, for example:

A friend has asked, who subscribes to Scientific American any more? “Science” is heading downhill pretty fast in one really important sense: It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between “science” and “sciencey.”


It turns out! Not only was space junk Oumuamua an “extraterrestrial lightsail” but our whole universe might be an alien’s experiment. The stuff that comes out of Harvard these days and get published in Scientific American used to be tabloid news. What has changed?

I didn't read the article--did they include an artist's conception of the life there or the clothes they were wearing? :-/ According to a friend who asked SETI many years ago, we would not be able to detect life on earth from those distances. I wonder whether this is still true. If we were on the exoplanet orbiting Tau Boötes, would we be able to detect life on earth? -Q Querius
Did anybody ever think that since we are starting to use things like digital transmissions and other more advanced forms of communication that maybe radio waves might not be what we should be looking for AaronS1978
I skimmed through the paper. Interesting stuff. Leaving aside the predictive models, their observations are in the familiar shortwave bands. Two of the planets have intriguing periodic patterns in their histograms, around 30 minutes and 3 hours. Could be a couple of alien truckers chewing the fat on starship CB, or maybe the alien CNN running its regular propaganda broadcasts ordering the death of local Deplorables. Or it could be coming from the IF of earthly superhet receivers tuning in and out of half-hour programs. Typical IF for an FM receiver is 10.7 Mhz, with several harmonics usually audible. Earthly computers have a rich mix of harmonics in the shortwave range. Which is more likely? Not a hard choice. polistra

Leave a Reply