When the aliens get into the SETI

29.04.2004

29.04.2004


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Already 40 years ago, Soviet scientists have "probed" Andromeda galaxy in search of highly civilizations
Natalia Leskov

The dream is almost as old as humanity itself — to find out about the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations gained real possibilities of our time. Renowned astronomer Francis Drake from the U.S. proposed a formula to calculate the number of planets with highly developed civilizations and calculated the probability to get in touch with brothers in mind. But few people know that long before Drake tried to solve the problem of the Russian scientist, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vsevolod Troitsky. His work has only recently been declassified. Their stories are told Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Basil Lessin, in those years, graduate student, and later colleague Vsevolod Sergeyevich. The past ten years, Professor Lessin teaches at Princeton University (USA).

These are technical and technological monsters as radio telescope in Green Bank (weight — 16 million pounds), are designed to catch the response of extraterrestrial civilizations.
Photo: Reuters

— Vasily Leonidovich, let's — from the beginning: what is the essence of the hypothesis Drake?

— Thirty years ago, Francis Drake proposed to consider the numbers characterizing a number of possibilities: the existence of planets around stars, suitable conditions for life, the emergence of intelligent life of a highly developed civilization, and, finally, a willingness to enter into contact with us. All these values are relative and uncertain. However, calculations based on this formula gives an encouraging result for our galaxy: at least two hundred of advanced civilizations (CC).

In 1974, Drake has decided to send a very powerful radio telescope in Arisibo (Puerto Rico) the coded radio signals. He sent them into the constellation of Hercules globular star cluster number 13, among the many stars who, according to his calculations, there may be a star with planets that are suitable for the formation of CC. The radio signal will reach there in 24,000 years. If this signal is received and the brothers on reason we deign to answer the same way, we need to answer the same amount of time. For earthlings such "correspondence" becomes meaningless.

However, the program search for radio VC were not stopped. For several decades among the inhabitants supported the thrill of anticipation that they will be about to witness the meeting of two worlds.

— What contributed to this research our scientists?

— Few people know that since the mid-60s of last century, the challenge of finding extraterrestrial intelligence engaged prominent radio physicist and radio astronomer, correspondent member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR S. Vsevolod Troitsky. His work was strictly classified. Academic life worked in Nizhny Novgorod (then Gorky) led the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Physics Institute (RRI). All of his trips outside of his native city strictly monitored by the competent authorities.

Back in 1964 proved the concept of Trinity Search narrowband monochromatic ETI signals. Such signals, in his opinion, may belong to civilizations, located at approximately the same level of technology with us. The scientist has calculated system parameters for interstellar communications. For example, for intergalactic communication required power far in excess of the level that is available to our current civilization. Therefore, Trinity suggested a study primarily coming stars, believing that they can exist near our civilization (or slightly higher) levels. He also suggested the feasibility of systematic exposure nearest stars signal from Earth, so there can be a field sufficient for the detection of the same tools that are available in the world.

— In this case, apparently, there are non-trivial technical problems?

— Clocking in at under the "Galaxy", Vsevolod Sergeevich was concerned about the need to create a receiver capable to search for and register narrowband signals over a fairly wide frequency band. This receiver was prepared in 1968. The observations were made in the years 1968-1969 on the 15-meter antenna of the radio astronomy station in Zimenkov. We studied 11 solar-type stars located within 100 light-years from the Sun, and Galaxy 31 (Andromeda). Monitoring each object lasted ten minutes. Neither one of these signals were not detected. However, this was a big step forward.

— It is known that another authoritative expert on the problem of finding extraterrestrial life was a Soviet Academician Iosif Shklovsky …

— In October 1975 at the International Conference Zelenchukskaya astronomer Academician Iosif Shklovsky put forward a sensational hypothesis about the uniqueness of our civilization. Trinity allowed himself to compete with the famous colleague. Trying to explain the paradox of "silence of the universe", he said: "It is impossible to characterize the development of civilizations only energy consumption, population and habitat space. The concept is based on the idea of living on the exchange of matter and energy, as well as on the ability of self-reproduction. Civilization — is a certain level of organization of intelligent life, in essence, a new living organism, consisting of a set of individuals that form a social form of motion of matter, the social mind. In contrast to the biological organism exchange within civilization is not determined by biochemical and social laws. "

Trinity and thought about the way in which civilization can be developed which possessed the possibility of unlimited energy.

"There will be a problem of how to limit the rate of energy production, so as not to overheat the environment and at the same time meet the needs of civilization — he wrote. — The main reason for the rate of energy production deterrence — a requirement the protection of the environment from pollution and energy violations of environmental conditions. " Agree, sounds very modern.

— And what has been the fate of the ideas expressed Trinity?

— At a symposium in Tallinn early 80s Vsevolod S. reported on the project of finding the "Overview", which was developed under his leadership. The system would consist of a few dozen small antennas, receiver equipped with ten spectral channels. Together, the antenna had to completely block the firmament. The system could gradually built up. It was assumed that in 1990 will begin with the observation of 20 rays, and by 1995 the number of points will be increased to 100. This is a modest but highly effective system was an important step towards the creation of large omni-directional detection systems. Trinity worked hard to implement it, but he did not manage to obtain the necessary funds. In 1988 he led them to the program was canceled due to the termination of funding for space research in general. It was then that the scientist was invited to participate in an international program SETI («The problem of searching for extraterrestrial intelligence"). This led the largest project of Francis Drake knew that the knowledge of the Trinity is difficult to overestimate, as it was one of the leaders of a trend in the world of science. Vsevolod S. accepted. Soon, however, the two scientists ran a "black cat": their views on the problem of searching for intelligent community in the universe is in many ways not agree.

Drake stuck to the hypothesis of simultaneous and single origin of life, from which derived his famous formula. It follows from the hypothesis that life everywhere in the universe, as on Earth, there was about four billion years ago. If the average time of evolution for all civilizations taken as Earth, it means that civilizations are beginning to emerge in the universe near the present day. In reality, of course, the evolution of different civilizations different. Therefore, apparently, there may be different age civilization as younger and older than ours. That this view is taken by Trinity.

Further, since the number of planets where life originated at the same time, is limited, and the number of civilizations does not exceed the number of such planets. With an unlimited lifetime civilizations their number does not grow indefinitely with time, as in the Drake equation, but tends to limit determined by the number of planets on which life arose. According to the formulas of the Trinity, in the long term life of civilizations over time their number tends to zero, as the civilization gradually die out and new ones are not nascent.

— Maybe it was all the same rights Shklovsky, who claimed that we are alone in the universe?

— "Today, we do not know whether there are extraterrestrials — wrote about Vsevolod Troitsky year before his death. — We'll never know if you do not move from words to deeds, to practice — the criterion of truth. Otherwise, we will have a place of truth only a wide range of hypotheses, from the pervasive computing center and ending with their complete absence. "

With this statement is hard to disagree.

28.04.2004

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