Mysterious outburst of deep-space light flashes baffles scientists

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by editor, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Interesting stuff!

    Mysterious Light Flashes Are Coming from Deep Space, and AI Just Found More of Them
    crossthebreeze, ebonics and Lupa like this.
  2. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

  3. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    Maybe we should have a 'things that might be aliens' thread. There's also this:

    The Mysterious Star KIC 8462852 | SETI Institute

  4. Signal 11

    Signal 11 also programmed for conversational english

    existentialist likes this.
  5. skyscraper101

    skyscraper101 0891 50 50 50

    Al who?
    Signal 11 likes this.
  6. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank We kill the flame

    You're the dude at the beginning of the movie who everyone hates because he's all like 'I'm not going to give this plucky underdog hero 100 billion dollars and all the nuclear launch codes just because he thinks aliens are coming' and then the audience is all like 'yeah fuck you' when the big explosions start at the end of act one and you're the first named character to get vapourised.
    treefrog, Epona, maomao and 3 others like this.
  7. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    It's not aliens.

    I mean, it might be, in much the same way as the now banned lottery slogan "It could be you".

    Probability of it being an as yet unexplained natural phenomena: 99.999999999%
    Probability of it being the work of intelligent aliens: 0.000000001%

    Or thereabouts....
  8. existentialist

    existentialist There's gonna be moquette!

    *goes and plugs those numbers into the Drake equation :D*
  9. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    Make your own numbers up! :eek:

    That's what Drake did after all...
  10. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow Seagull + Chips = Happy Seagull

    Definitely aliens then. :cool:
  11. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    No. Drake may have formulated the equation, but as far as I know he didn't specify what numbers should be filled in for each variable.

    I don't know why people shit on the Drake equation for not having all the answers, when it was never intended to. Drake wasn't an idiot, he knew that some of the variables weren't known at the time he formulated them. I think people dismiss the equation because they plug optimistic numbers into it, and then when the ensuing results fail to match up with reality, they blame the equation rather than their own poor choices of variable.
    existentialist and SpookyFrank like this.
  12. NoXion

    NoXion Keep an eye out for diamonds

    Also, I'm more skeptical about these fast radio bursts being artificial in origin than I used to be.

    The reasoning which convinced me goes something like this: since intelligence, as far as we know, takes billions of years to arise at least once, then advanced alien civilisations must become increasingly rare the further we look back in time. Yet these fast radio bursts are the opposite, they become rarer as we look closer to our planet in space-time. I'm probably not conveying the entire argument since I only half-remember it, but I find it pretty persuasive nonetheless.

    These are truly titanic quantities of energy that are involved in FRBs, literally stellar in scope. Since FTL travel appears to be out of the question, any interstellar empire would necessarily take considerable time to establish.
  13. Epona

    Epona Down with battered parsnips

    Fuck whether aliens are nearby... why is it a dude at the beginning of the movie (or in any other role in it?) We need to sort this shit out on our own planet before worrying about what else is going on.
  14. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    So, something happened 3 billion light-years ago out there.

    How many years in a light year?

    Those flashes happened a long long time ago!!
  15. strung out

    strung out (",)

    Not sure if you understand what a light year is
    iona likes this.
  16. iona

    iona makes George Orwell look like a dalek



    And almost 5,900,000,000,000 miles
  17. existentialist

    existentialist There's gonna be moquette!

    A light year is a measure of distance, not time.

    It's the distance a beam of light travels in one year and as iona points out, is a very long way.

    The "year" bit comes in because the light we see from a distant star is as many years old as the star is light years away. So if a star 300 light years blew up, it'd take 300 years for us to know.
  18. cheesethief

    cheesethief Well-Known Member

    I don't have any problem with the Drake equation per se, it's the marketing & hype that I object to. His equation was only ever really indented to stimulate debate about the existence of intelligent life in the universe, and in that regard it has succeeded. However the popular notion often perpetuated by the media is that the Drake equation actually tells us something tangible, as if it's a profound step closer to answering one of the biggest questions in the universe, when it's really not. And some of the terms in his equation would require knowledge of a kind that, if we are able to discern it, we'd probably have already answered the overall question aeons ago.

    It's a clever notion, but it doesn't really tell us anything beyond "When we know the answer to all these incredibly difficult questions, we'll know the overall result".

    Well yeah, we will. That's kind of a given.

    What has it really told us? Nothing. What does it add to the body of scientific knowledge? Not much. Is it even practically testable? Not really.

    So yes, it's good marketing, it gets people talking about the subject, but it has very little scientific value and doesn't deserve to be held aloft as some profound insight.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    existentialist likes this.
  19. existentialist

    existentialist There's gonna be moquette!

    Yeah, this. It's like Schrödinger's cat - nobody actually puts cats in boxes with radioactive isotopes and poison. It's just a thought experiment to illustrate a point.

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