Author Topic: SETI@Home Project Ending  (Read 334 times)

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Online xrunner

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SETI@Home Project Ending
« on: March 09, 2020, 10:45:35 pm »
SETI@Home

Quote
On March 31, the volunteer computing part of SETI@home will stop distributing work and will go into hibernation.

We're doing this for two reasons:

1) Scientifically, we're at the point of diminishing returns; basically, we've analyzed all the data we need for now.

2) It's a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper.

However, SETI@home is not disappearing. The web site and the message boards will continue to operate. We hope that other UC Berkeley astronomers will find uses for the huge computing capabilities of SETI@home for SETI or related areas like cosmology and pulsar research. If this happens, SETI@home will start distributing work again. We'll keep you posted about this.

If you're currently running SETI@home on your computer, we encourage you to attach to other BOINC-based projects as well. Or use Science United and sign up to do astronomy. You can stay attached to SETI@home, of course, but you won't get any jobs until we find new applications.

We're extremely grateful to all of our volunteers for supporting us in many ways during the past 20 years. Without you there would be no SETI@home. We're excited to finish up our original science project, and we look forward to what comes next.

https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=85267&sort_style=6&start=0
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Offline tooki

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Re: SETI@Home Project Ending
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2020, 10:58:33 pm »
Aww! I used to run that as a screen saver on my 68040-based Mac back in the 90s. (I stopped when I got a newer model that sported sleep mode.)
 

Online xrunner

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Re: SETI@Home Project Ending
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2020, 11:04:46 pm »
Oh I've been active off and on since 1999. I have a Ryzen 7 1700 Linux machine devoted to that project right now. But I think I'm going to be going over to Einstein@Home with my resources. Kind of a bummer it's ending but projects come to and end.
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Online I wanted a rude username

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Re: SETI@Home Project Ending
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2020, 11:14:04 pm »
When you think about it statistically, the project was unlikely to ever detect another civilisation.

Not only would an advanced civilisation stop emitting inefficiently (i.e. detectably) within 100 years of discovering radio, but within 1,000 years they would began colonising their galaxy. For a galaxy the size of the Milky Way, it would take an estimated 50 million years to colonise every habitable stellar system. A year of galactic time. If we were not the first, they would almost certainly be everywhere else by now. So far it looks like we are the first.

This was only worked out mathematically long after the project was in full swing.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: SETI@Home Project Ending
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2020, 12:18:51 pm »
The Fermi paradox is not new, but that paper puts some good numbers on it.

I'd always assumed SETI would be looking for intentional transmitters, the odds are too remote to pick up accidental transmissions. SETI folk seem to be abundantly optimistic, and when asked about Fermi paradox just shrug it off. There is a good story about how Frank Drake and Carl Sagan went to a radio telescope to first look for signals from aliens, Sagan was sure there would be an easy to find signal, after only a few hours he got bored and went home. Drake is much more the patient realistic type, and knows that finding even an intentional signal means sifting through vast volumes of space.

A negative result should not prove anything, but I think the lack of success so far puts some significant upper bounds on the problem, and has some profound implications. We should hope we are past the Great Filter, and not before it. The less alien life we find, the better for our future prospects. I suspect a combination of the following:

a) intelligent life is incredibly rare
b) sustaining an advanced civ is hard
c) interstellar space travel is really hard
d) interstellar comms is limited and really expensive

I'm not really convinced there is any "new technology" that would be practical, like warp drives, wormholes, Dyson spheres, nor even antimatter drives.

I assume the first intelligent civ would do exactly what we would do:

1) look for signs of alien life
2) not finding it, send out probes
3) still not finding it, send out colonisers
4) just in case of extinction, set up AI beacons/libraries which could inform future civs
Bob
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Offline Ampera

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Re: SETI@Home Project Ending
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2020, 01:14:52 pm »
We do not know the bounds of the universe, because whenever we hit against them, we find ways to turn them on their head all over again.

There have been very many accomplishments which came not too long after the words, "yeah, right."
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: SETI@Home Project Ending
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2020, 01:43:40 pm »
Not only would an advanced civilisation stop emitting inefficiently (i.e. detectably) within 100 years of discovering radio, but within 1,000 years they would began colonising their galaxy.

I'm inclined to agree, but with the caveat that they may begin spreading to other planets if, and only if, it's physically possible to do so.

Maybe it is the case that it's simply not possible to pack enough energy into a transportation device to transport any viable organism from one habitable planet to another, within a period of time for which that organism can survive...?

If it's a question of "if" rather than "how", then we're all stuck on our home planets, technology notwithstanding.

Moreover, since the ratio of (time for which a radio-using civilisation exists) / (age of planet) is so small, we'll probably never hear from each other, much less meet.

Shame :(


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