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Topic: "Contact"

From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: 12/12/2011

"47-year-old Television signals bouncing back to Earth"

http://www.rimmell.com/bbc/news.htm

Have you been following this? The parallel with Carl Sagan's novel and subsequent film needs no elaboration. Almost certainly a natural phenomenon...but the fact that television programs can be resolved by an Arecibo-sized device after nearly 50 years of dispersion is surely noteworthy!

I find myself experiencing a wild, irrational desire to view the "returned" versions of these programs. Like tasting champagne that sank with the Titanic...wow.

Re:

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/17/2012

Interesting, but likely a fraud. I can't find any other notice about Dr. Venn and Arecibo. The original BBC news post has no other stubs and there is no other confirmation. Sigh! If more pops up, let me know!

Re:

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/20/2012

Of course!

Re:

From: Bill Goodwin
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: 01/22/2012

Egg on my face. An old April Fool's joke recirculating on Facebook. I didn't even think to check.

Gee. There are things on the internet that aren't true?

Re: "47-year-old Television signals bouncing back to Earth"

From: Kelly Marsh
Location: Camano Island
Date: 01/24/2012

I too am skeptical regarding this. Not because I think it is impossible that such signals might bounce off things 25 light years distant and be returned, but rather that with the dispersion over 50 light years any such signal would be so diffuse as to be indistinguishable from normal background radiation, and indeed would be buried beneath it. Even a laser bounced off something as near as the moon (about 750,000 miles away)suffers considerable diffusion by the time it returns to its point of origin, and they don't say "broadcast" for nothing. Television and radio broadcasts are not even near being cohesive, quite the opposite, in fact.

Also, 47 year old signals would probably be bouncing back from something 23.5 light years distant, not 25. While you may accuse me of quibbling, the difference in distance is significant. The difference for the round trip would be a little better than 35 trillion miles, in fact, and I don't think many scientists would generalize quite that egregiously. :)

But, of course, I must bow to Greg here; his knowledge of science is rather better than mine. Greg, feel free to poke holes in any of my statements. :)

Re:

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/30/2012

Nothing that I've found...

What's weird about this is I came to my conclusions not by looking at the date, but by doing the science in my head. Pitiful, or profound?

Re:

From: Greg Bear
Date: 01/30/2012

Ah, Kelly, we both think things through!

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