Monday, January 31, 2011

Protocol For Talking To Extraterrestrials

Since the first binary code sent from Puerto Rico in 1974, our messages to aliens have been increasingly complicated and cryptic, possibly so much that extraterrestrials won’t get what we’re saying.

A trio of astrophysicists from the US and France hope to change that by building an extraterrestrial messaging protocol, so any spacebound communiqué could be easily understood.

A METI protocol — messaging to extraterrestrial intelligence — would include several factors, including signal encoding, message length and message content, according to Dimitra Atri, an astronomer at the University of Kansas, and his colleagues. They suggest using two specific wavelengths for transmission: 1.42 GHz or 4.46 GHz, which are commonly observed in nature and relatively easy to capture, in case the ETs only have “modest technical capabilities.” They also recommend establishing a dedicated transmission beacon to conduct regular broadcasts.

More information here.

'Artificial petrol' just for 90p per GALLON

British scientists 'invent artificial petrol' that could cost just 90p per GALLON (and there's no carbon).

Hydrogen-based fuel produces no greenhouse gases so could help nations slash their carbon footprint.
It is due to be available at the pumps in three to five years.

Artificial petrol that costs 19p per liter could be on forecourts in as little as three years.

British scientists are refining the recipe for a hydrogen-based fuel that will run in existing cars and engines at the fraction of the cost of conventional petrol.

With hydrogen at its heart rather than carbon, it will not produce any harmful emissions when burnt, making it better for the environment, as well as easier on the wallet.

The first road tests are due next year and, if all goes well, the cut-price ‘petrol’ could be on sale in three to five years.

More information here