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New Chip For Square Kilometer Radio Telescope

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the little-green-men-using-quantum-computers dept.

Space 88

An anonymous reader writes "ZDNet Aus reported on a new low-noise chip that could help in building the $1.6B Square Kilometer Array, the world's largest radio telescope. Wikipedia claims the telescope will be 50 times as sensitive as current instruments. It will have a resolution able to detect every active galactic nucleus out to a redshift of 6, when the universe was less than 1 billion years old and way crazy. It will have the sensitivity to detect Earth-like radio leakage at a distance of several hundred to a few thousand light years, which could help greatly with the search for extraterrestrial life. The chip's designer, Prof. Jack Singh, commented on the chip's ability to help with quantum computing research, due to its ability to operate at millikelvin temperatures, necessary to prevent quantum decoherence."

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Porn - first proof of ET's... (1, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959354)

Suddenly we find our local group of stars is host to numerous planets broadcasting loads of porn. The first image of intersteller life will be a happy finish!

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21959532)

Yeah, baby!
Pictures of the universe when it was only in it's "way crazy" first billions!
Barely legal!!!
HOTT planet on planet action!!!!! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (4, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959898)

We already sent them porn via snail mail [wikipedia.org] , the next logical step is to start trading via radiotelescope. Hope they liked the first stuff.

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960794)

At that inter-galactic distances it could take them forever to download anything substantial. Better send them a link to a torrent instead.

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960018)

Speaking of porn-

It will have a resolution of able to detect every active galactic nucleus out to a redshift of 6, when the universe was less than 1 billion years old and way crazy.

Was it trying to kill itself? [slashdot.org] was it safe for work? [slashdot.org] Or was it, like me, buying beer, pot, and hookers? [slashdot.org]

Crazy? The craziest part of the universe is Springfield! [slashdot.org]

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (3, Funny)

smorken (990019) | more than 6 years ago | (#21963024)

Im not sure that we would want to be trading porn with an alien species. What if they all look like jabba the hut? Some things you cannot unsee.

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21963496)

Some things you cannot unsee.
Let's hope they aren't the alien equivalent of slashdot trolls sending us the goatse.

Re:Porn - first proof of ET's... (2, Funny)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21963524)

Much more important for the survival of our species, let's hope the SETI people on Earth aren't slashdot trolls sending goatse to the aliens.

low noise chip (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21959476)

Great, I can eat 'em in bed without the wife complaining..

They'd better not waste it on SETI (3, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959516)

I hope they put this toward something useful, rather than blow its time on SETI.

Even if we find life outside our solar system, the aftermath would not be worth-while. We would most likely not be able to communicate with them, and even if we could, we would have to perfect quantum mechanics and have teleportation working properly before communication is practical.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959628)

No, of course not. SETI will not stand for any of this metric crap, they are holding out for the square MILE version!

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962946)

Hell yeah, it'll be 67.777777777777777777777 times as sensitive!

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

JasonTik (872158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21971498)

Your sig is weird.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21971750)

One new sig inbound

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959652)

Quantum teleportation does not allow information transfer faster than the speed of light.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21961080)

...or does it?

I guess we'll never know until we look.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (2, Informative)

SixByNineUK (949320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960044)

The SKA has 5 key science goals, one of them, called 'The cradle of life' is aimed at looking for possible life in other star systems, but I believe it is mainly focusing on studying the formation of earth-like planets (to better understand our own). I think that any real SETI efforts will be done as a sort of 'piggyback' on other projects (Although I don't think the scheduling arrangements are anywhere near ready yet!).

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967102)

After you point the telescope to a nearby rocky planet, it's trivial to record and later analyze possible radio transmission.

Whatever you get by piggybacking an observation is, by definition, free.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21981128)

After you point the telescope to a nearby rocky planet, it's trivial to record and later analyze possible radio transmission.

Whatever you get by piggybacking an observation is, by definition, free.

At first glance you'd think so, but at second glance you start to see the costs of recording media, transmission of data, etc. Those costs become non-trivial quite rapidly as your volume of "free" observations go up.
I don't know the current status of the "pipeline" between the Areceibo radio telescope and the SETI@home servers, but when the project started they spread their shoestring budget as far as possible by MAILING many-gigabytes of tape reels from Puerto Rico to California.
"Low cost per bit" is not the same as "free".

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21960420)

Even if we find life outside our solar system, the aftermath would not be worth-while.
Perhaps not, but it would be incredibly interesting. Your worthwhile sounds awfully boring.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21960478)

>> We would most likely not be able to communicate with them, and even if we could, we would have to perfect quantum mechanics and have teleportation working properly before communication is practical.

"Even if Christopher Columbus discovers something over there, we'd have to perfect a new method of travel which won't take months to take us to the new land. Why bother? Cancel the exploration" - Queen Isabella

Good thing not everyone has reasons as poorly as you.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960916)

I'd say the question of ETI is not only inherently interesting, but important [gmu.edu] as well, since it has direct implications for our continued survival as a species, and even what we should do to maximize our chances.

I'll take species survival over a lot of things, including a cure for cancer.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962136)

I hope they put this toward something useful, rather than blow its time on SETI.

Even if we find life outside our solar system, the aftermath would not be worth-while. We would most likely not be able to communicate with them, and even if we could, we would have to perfect quantum mechanics and have teleportation working properly before communication is practical.


Well, I agree that a SETI success is probably very unlikely, how "useful" is anything that a radiotelescope does? It's only purpose is to observe, collect data, and maybe blow our minds. Until it collects the data, we can have no idea if the likeliest, biggest mind blowing factoid will have to do with black holes, galaxies, planet formation, pulsars, or little green men. If we knew what we'd find, we wouldn't need to look for any of it.

As for the aftermath not being worthwhile. Well, I think that just the knowledge that they exist is enough. It would put humanity in a completely different context and potentially have dramatic, sweeping social implications. If we managed to actually understand their signals, and maybe decipher their language, it would be even more amazing. Even if we never learn anything from their equivalent of Mr. Wizard.

Re:They'd better not waste it on SETI (1)

Kasis (918962) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967044)

It would be fascinating to be able to detect the radio leakage from another planet. Communication would be nice but if we could decode their radio shows, TV, their own communication among themselves, would that be a complete waste of time? Maybe their version of the discovery channel will air a documentary detailing their geography, or their history.

Maybe they have good TV with plotlines we haven't already seen!!

technically (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959538)

the era of Way Crazy is not the correct term for the billion year old universe. the billion year old universe is known as the You Gotta Be Freakin Kiddin Me Epoch, not to be confused with the You Gotta Be Freakin Nuts Epoch much earlier. Way Crazy is a specific terminology for the time period between supersymmetry breaking and the formation of the quark-gluon plasma, aka the Thats Outta Sight Man era

Re:technically (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959624)

Maybe this advance will help us explain the Fuggettaboutit Extinction.

Sorry to bitch but... (3, Funny)

x1n933k (966581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959636)

This is a bit off topic but can someone please edit this summary. Did you even read it? Terrible grammar.

[J]

Re:Sorry to bitch but... (1, Insightful)

Kurous (865517) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959742)

Not only that...but since when did Wikipedia become a valid source?

Re:Sorry to bitch but... (2, Insightful)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959878)

The same day Roland Piquepaille became a valid source...

You are getting your news feeds through Slashdot, ya know =P

Re:Sorry to bitch but... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959754)

How about this beauty from TFA itself? Science reporting at its finest.

This is because such quantum circuits "decohere", with even the slightest piece of electromagnetic or thermal noise.

Re:Sorry to bitch but... (2, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959848)

but can someone please edit this summary. Did you even read it? Terrible grammar

We're always glad to see a new slashdot member here. Your welcome packet is in the mail!

Re:Sorry to bitch but... (1)

quonsar (61695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959920)

"It will have a resolution of able to detect..."

Yep, that's some high ass resolution all right.

Re:Sorry to bitch but... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960148)

This is a bit off topic but can someone please edit this summary. Did you even read it? Terrible grammar.

Sorry, she can't do it for you as she died back in '03. And don't talk about her like that!

iRonically... (5, Funny)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959734)

you still need to crank the volume all the way up to get your iPod FM transmitter to work...

Re:iRonically... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960444)

Isn't that new ultrasonic device Apple's making to take wrinkles out of clothing called the iRon?

Re:iRonically... (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962076)

The iRon Butterfly?

"Wikipedia claims" (5, Informative)

LMacG (118321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959776)

That claim actually comes straight from the Square Kilometer Array website [skatelescope.org] .

Millikelvins (2, Funny)

jhines (82154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959794)

Cool baby, cool.

Re:Millikelvins (1)

mentaldrano (674767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960866)

It's all about the millikelvins, baby.

Is it true... (3, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959800)

....that the chips were actually salvaged from a fleet of BBC television detector vans?

Re:Is it true... (2, Funny)

crow (16139) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960268)

No, but the BBC is funding the project in the hopes that it can pick up reflected signals from 20+ light years away so that they can recover all the TV recordings that they tossed out thinking that they had no value.

Re:Is it true... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22012164)

I thought they had negotiated a deal with the Pleiedes cluster. We would provide them with instruments of torture (Noel Edmunds, Ken Dodd, Keith Chegwin and Chris Tarrent), and they would provide us with a copy of all transmissions that had been beamed into space (other than those featuring said instruments of torture).

Re:Is it true... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960278)

I thought they were from the Cat detector [uncyclopedia.org] van [alltooflat.com] ?

Re:Is it true... (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 6 years ago | (#21964164)

The looney detector van you mean.

Re:Is it true... (1)

Frnknstn (663642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966318)

Look, it's people like you what cause unrest.

Red shift of 6? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21959852)

Why don't you just make 5 bigger and make 5 be the top number?

Low noise (5, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959884)

It's not explained in the article, but the reason for the very low temperature operation is resistor thermal noise [wikipedia.org] . Basically, any resistor (or anything with vaguely resistor-like properties, for example the radio antenna itself) creates "thermal noise" from the thermally-induced effects of electrons bouncing around. At room temperature (300K), that noise is 4E-21 watts per 1Hz bandwidth -- or about -130dBm on a fairly narrow 10kHz bandwidth. The noise generated varies linearly with temperature, so if the entire input amplifier is operated at 300mK instead of 300K, you get an extra 30dB of signal-to-noise ratio, which is substantial when you're looking for very very weak signals.

Fun fact: with a $5 op-amp, a few resistors, and an audio amplifier, you can create your own, entirely quantum, true white noise source from the same effect. Guaranteed good for cryptographic random number generation, impressing your friends, and preventing dates!

Re:Low noise (2, Interesting)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960108)

Thats the same reason why 24bit audio cards for playback (and even for recording if you dont plan any excessive post-processing) is overkill.
All those SACD players cannot beat the roles of physics, which mean that everything after bit 19 or so is just thermal noice. No matter how expensive the audiophile voodoo happens to be.

Re:Low noise (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960392)

Well, getting better than 16 bits takes work, but isn't exactly that hard. And since computers like to work in 8-bit chunks, it should be no surprise that 24 bits was the next choice. And even if all you plan to do is adjust the volume on the different tracks, apply an equalization curve, and then mix a few tracks together, you should be doing all that in 24 bits. Sure, 24 bits is ovrekill, but it's easily better than 16 bits, and a 19-bit sample size would just be silly.

Use 24 bits during all the processing -- it's easy enough, and there's no reason to add quantization artifacts at the 16-bit level. But long before you care about the difference between 16 and 24 bit at the input and output, you need to be putting serious effort into good power supplies, a clean acoustic environment, and some very high quality analog components (mics, speakers, amps, etc). As any audio geek can tell you, getting the analog portions of your equipment to be as good as the 16 bit, 44.1kHz CD signal is neither trivial nor cheap, even with improving electronics.

Re:Low noise (1)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#21963862)

a clean acoustic environment
For those of us who live in large cities, this might actually be the most expensive part of the whole deal - or just be outright impossible. If you don't own your own place, it's difficult to keep the outside noises outside.

Re:Low noise (2, Funny)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962600)

But you need that thermal noise in your audiophile setup. That's to give the music that "warm" sound.

Re:Low noise (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962894)

Actually no. The "warm" sound is harmonic distortion. Whether this is a good thing or not I'll leave up to others, but it is distortion in the sense that it's not the same signal that came in, but it's related to it. Noise, on the other hand, is unrelated to the input signal and not coherent. Thermal noise is precisely white noise, aka "hiss".

Re:Low noise (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21963442)

Thermal noise is precisely white noise, aka "hiss".

Actually, that hissing noise is the joke flying over your head.

Re:Low noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21964240)

Said "warm" sound can also be found in the "thermal noise" of me pissing on your mic.

Re:Low noise (2, Interesting)

mentaldrano (674767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21961030)

In addition to radio receivers, this same form of noise affects optical astronomy as well. The CCDs [wikipedia.org] used as sensors in optical microscopes are mostly refrigerated as well, sometimes down to 0.3 kelvin, to get around this noise. When you need to count single photons, noise can kill you - and there is no beating Johnson noise. Your only hope is a refrigerator.

Re:Low noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21962482)

Guaranteed good for cryptographic random number generation, impressing your friends, and preventing dates!

Well, maybe those dates would take place after all if you weren't so busy making the encryption on your love notes unbreakable.

Rather than a messy, "a12e52 5537f5 138456 4ce5cc" etc, have you tried simply saying "Will you go out with me?"

Re:Low noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21965140)

Clarification:

The numbers above are actually per Hz-ohms. That is, the noise power increases linearly with both measurement bandwidth and resistance.

The equation for noise voltage (proportional to square-root of power) is:

en = sqrt(4kTRB)

Where:
k - Boltzman's constant
T - Temperature in Kelvin
R - Resistance
B - Bandwidth

Not surprised by the lack of information, but it would really have been nice to publish some numbers such as the spot noise voltage/current at the intended operating frequency, noise curves, noise figure, or something to judge the part by. Without this information is really hard for us EE-geeks to understand how impressive/non-impressive this device really is.

Re:Low noise (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21965204)

You're exactly right for noise voltage, but since power = v^2/r, and v ~ sqrt(r), power is independent of resistance. Lower valued resistors produce lower voltage noise (which usually matters) and higher current noise (which usually doesn't matter as much), and so are better for noise in the vast majority of circuit designs. The power is then P = kTRB. The factor of two difference is based on half the power going into the resistor and half into the impedance-matched amplifier input, and can be removed or not as appropriate.

And I agree completely, I'd love to see some noise specs to judge the part by. Alas, this is a popular press article, not a data sheet...

I don't even know what that means. (2, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21959950)

Will my taxes go up because of it?

Re:I don't even know what that means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21960460)

Certainly not. It's always possible for the government to deliver increased goods and services to you at no additional cost. Just ask any politician running for office. Sure, we're going to cut wasteful spending, but none of the spending on you is wasteful. We just cut the other guy, and increase his taxes, too.

Re:I don't even know what that means. (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960684)

Yes. If you had asked,"Will my taxes go up if this isn't built?" The answer would also be, yes.

Re:I don't even know what that means. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21962690)

The square kilometer array will cost 1.8 billion dollars, of which the US will be paying 1/3d. That's about two days worth of Iraq war funding, utterly wasted. Write your Congressman!

Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21959992)

But will they build a Beowolf cluster?

The most depressing thing in the world.. (4, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960008)

would be discovering other life in the Universe, but never the drive to carry us there.

Re:The most depressing thing in the world.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21960732)

We have the drives to carry us across the galaxy, if you don't take tiny human lifetimes out of the equation.

It just takes a while. Even with a pretty large army of drones it would take a while to survey and resurvey the galaxy. Thus I think it's entirely plausible that powerful extraterrestrial civilizations exist in our galaxy but they just haven't noticed us yet. It's only been a million years since our ancestors looked more like run-of-the-mill primates than the people who are now building a civilization to span a solar system. It's only been a hundred years since we started throwing decent amounts of radio waves into the sky.

Re:The most depressing thing in the world.. (1)

smaddox (928261) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962322)

It's only been a hundred years since we started throwing decent amounts of radio waves into the sky.
You know, I never really thought about it that way. The odds of ET being outside of 100 light years is astronomically better than within 100 light years.

However, on a different train of thought - what are the odds of current civilization living another 1000 years? I mean, we already have weapons that could decimate the entire world population within a matter of days. I hate to be a pessimist, but I can't help but think that the more knowledge we gather, the more likely we are to blow everyone up (not to mention natural disasters).

Which leads us to the question - how likely is it for two intelligent races to occur close enough together in the universe for them to make contact before one of them dies out?

Re:The most depressing thing in the world.. (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21964996)

"However, on a different train of thought - what are the odds of current civilization living another 1000 years? I mean, we already have weapons that could decimate the entire world population within a matter of days. I hate to be a pessimist, but I can't help but think that the more knowledge we gather, the more likely we are to blow everyone up (not to mention natural disasters)."

The more advanced we are, the more likely colonizing other planets becomes, giving us built in redundancy. Hopefully it gets done sometime within the next 50-100 years. I guess what humanity needs is motivation - a spectacular close shave with a small asteroid, big enough to give us a huge scare but not big enough to wipe us out. Kind of like the asteroid equivalent of a New Pearl Harbor.

I suppose the other thing is, there will always be a cryptic population of humans, and the destruction of a nuke is only temporary. Hiroshima and Nagasaki have both been repopulated for decades. And if a government has the wherewithal for nukes, it has the wherewithal for some sort of continuity of government program. And the people preserved aren't likely to be stupid, either. So as those humans repopulated the earth, the progress per person would likely be far higher, and the likelihood of reinventing wheels should be low since a good CoG program should be preserving a lot of the knowledge.

what about the nukes in space? (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966918)

US army detonated a few nukes at 350km alt, close to shuttle height, quite big ones and pretty. http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/nuclear-test-9.jpg [howstuffworks.com]

Im sure this would have been noticed by someone given the burst of gamma rays etc...

What about LOFAR? (3, Informative)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960644)

"The world's largest radio telescope"? I think they're somewhat forgetting some of the competition:


http://www.lofar.org/ [lofar.org]


But it might depend a bit on how one bends definitions (min/max distance between receivers etc.)..


"The antennas are simple enough but there are a lot of them - 25000 in the full LOFAR design. To make radio pictures of the sky with adequate sharpness, these antennas are to be arranged in clusters that are spread out over an area of ultimately 350 km in diameter. (In phase 1 that is currently funded 15000 antenna's and maximum baselines of 100 km will be built). Data transport requirements are in the range of many Tera-bits/sec and the processing power needed is tens of Tera-FLOPS."
http://www.lofar.org/p/geninfo.htm [lofar.org]

Re:What about LOFAR? (1)

Xhris (97992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21961796)

LOFAR is much smaller than SKA - in size bandwidth sensitivity etc. LOFAR is basically a technology demonstrator for SKA

Re:What about LOFAR? (1)

prof_bart (637876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21961980)

LOFAR is a predecessor for the SKA. It is much smaller than the SKA, and has much narrower range of frequencies over which it is designed to operate (but will happen much sooner, and a lot will be learned applicable to SKA). The "Square Kilometer" part of SKA refers to the total collecting area, not to the length of the baselines. In this sense, it will be, by far, the largest telescope ever built. The telescope with the largest baselines that I am aware of is the VSOP VLBI system, which includes an 8m dish in orbit. But its total collecting area (and therefore, sensitivity) is vastly less than LOFAR or SKA.

redshift of 6? (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21960944)

The summary says "a redshift of 6". Six what? Percent, meters, billion years, parsecs?

Re:redshift of 6? (3, Informative)

Astro Dr Dave (787433) | more than 6 years ago | (#21961126)

Redshift (z) is a unitless ratio. It used as a (nonlinear) measure of distance in extra-galactic astronomy and cosmology.

The quantity 1+z is the ratio of the scale of the universe now to the scale of the universe at that redshift. Our local area (Milky Way galaxy) corresponds to z=0. So, for example, the universe was 7 times smaller at z=6, and the density of intergalactic gas is proportional to (1+z)^3.

Hold on a sec... (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 6 years ago | (#21961060)

Do you mean to tell me that Roland Piquepaille forgot to log in before he submitted this?

Horrible communication of the future? (3, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21962808)

several hundred to a few thousand light years, which could help greatly with the search for extraterrestrial life.
I'd hate to hear the conversation if the round trip for communications is over thousands of years..

Earth: Hi this is Bill from the planet Earth!
Aliens: Hello Bill this is Zargo from Optimum Prime, what do you want?
Earth: Hi, this is Ted. We'd like to know more about you!
Aliens: What happened to Bill?
Earth: Hi, this is Jane. Bill and Ted are Dead.
Aliens: What?!

Surely if Aliens are 1 thousand light years away it would take 6 thousand years to have that conversation. Although we'd probably just spam them all of Earth's Knowledge which would piss off the aliens into believing our planet is full of spammers and destroy us...

Re:Horrible communication of the future? (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966172)

Bill and Ted have a time machine, though!

haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21966332)

well played

The Big Picture? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21963052)

I saw the "Powers of 10" show at the Hayden Planetarium, and it zoomed out to what's supposed to be an image of the entire Universe (as far as we know). Where can I find that picture, around 1600x1200 resolution? I want my own look at just how "way crazy" it is out there at the edges at space and time.

Re:The Big Picture? (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21964498)

Have you tried Celestia?

Re:The Big Picture? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21967006)

I have, but does it zoom out to "the max"?

Re:The Big Picture? (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21974836)



sorry mine crashes somewhere past 1e20km - I thought you could go further

Re:The Big Picture? (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21981444)

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Celestia [wikibooks.org]

Looks like the best major link (adding the Deep space catalogs) - I believe the addon's for celestia run to Tb (mostly the Moon and Mars) so it may be hard to find what you want

m]od Up (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21963892)

What we've known [nero-online.org] Declined in market consider worthwhile parts. The cUrrent rules are This 5I see the same Product, BSD's States that there

"According to Wikipedia"? (1)

Night64 (1175319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21966560)

Maybe I'm tripping here, but I remember something in Wikipedia like a "no-original-research" policy...

not terribly high performance really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21980470)

Sorry to dissapoint but I know something about this subject.
Judging from the datasheet to go with this LNA (http://www.latrobe.edu.au/tech-infusion/assets/downloads/Aug-2007-8-LNA.pdf) its performance is poor.

Over that miserable frequency range it has a noise temperature of about 35-40K. It is pitiful. The other competitive designs beat this hands down. Alright they may be more expensive because they are not so highly integrated but they beat it by orders of magnitude. This performance is critical and well worth the money.
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