Hi Friends!

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It has been almost a week, but I’m still high on my trip to AbSciCon (Astrobiology Science Conference), in Atlanta, GA. Funded by NASA, AbSciCon is held only bi-yearly, and brings together all sorts of people in astrobiology, like biologists, chemists, geologists, psychologists, and even astrophysicists.

I presented two papers, one on recent observations using the ATA to search for repeating ETI signals using an autocorrelation method. (All the signals we found appeared to originate from Earth.)

The second was in a cross-disciplinary session with marine biologists (dophins), chemists (understanding the message contained in our DNA), SETI theory and observations, layers (international law regarding transmitting our own signal for others to find), etc.

I was fascinated by recent studies of dolphin language. Can we use our current SETI algorithms to help understand the dolphin language? Or could we develop new methods to study dolphins, and then apply them in SETI? If you’re interested in dolphin language, a starting place is:
http://www.wilddolphinproject.org/
set up by my new friend, Denise Herzing.

About gharp

Trained in condensed matter physics at U.W.-Milwaukee; was once Assoc. Prof. of Physics at Ohio University, Athens, OH. Switched to Astrophysics in 2000 and joined SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA . Presently Harp is the director for SETI research and works with the radio telescope. Allen Telescope Array (ATA), to perform SETI and astrophysics observations.

One Response to Hi Friends!

  1. No doubt deciphering alien signals, including nonhuman animal sounds on this planet, will lead to interesting ideas and questions about our abilities to both detect and recognize important structural aspects of communication. It’s very important that as scientists we are not only solid but also creative, sometimes stepping out of the box with new ideas to break through our old paradigms. I hope learning about the way dolphins encode information in their whistles and pulsed sounds will contribute to our understanding of signals we might find beyond Earth. I look forward to more creative brainstorming with Gerry and the other terrific researchers at SETI.

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