Monday, December 12, 2011

47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth

UPDATE: I haven't been able to confirm this story.   So Till it's confirmed all I know is what was in the link below apparently dated:  Wednesday, 1 April 2009 UK    Humm, that's not a good sign.   Well there is another story where apparently other Lost Doctor Who episodes that are being found.  The interesting thing is that this is almost possible, when I started to think about the inverse square law over 50 light years it would be hard to receive but possible on a straight path.  But now add a  reflection of that signal, it would have to be a massive corner cube reflector or massive focused parabola for a strong enough signal to arrive back. Still maybe some day we will make a strong enough receiver or make an FTL drive and just get ahead of the signals.  

From BBC:

47 year old television signals bouncing back to Earth

Doctor Who
Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico finds television shows lost in space.
While searching deep space for extra-terrestrial signals, scientists at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have stumbled across signals broadcast from Earth nearly half a century ago.

Radio astronomer Dr. Venn described how he made the historic discovery after analyzing a number of signals originating from the same point in space. "I realized the signal was in the VHF Band and slap bang in the middle of 41-68 MHz. It was obviously old terrestrial television broadcasts, but they seemed to be originating from deep space." After boosting and digital enhancement the resulting video signals are remarkably clear.

Responding to questions, Dr Venn was at pains to explain that little green men are not showing repeats of old Earth shows. "They are signals that left the Earth about 50 years ago and have bounced off an object or more likely a field of objects some 25 light years away". Radio signals travel at approximately 300,000 kilometers per second. The distance the vintage signals have traveled in the intervening years is vast and whatever they are bouncing off is too far away to see with even the most advanced optical telescopes. "...we asked NASA if they could point Hubble at the centre of what we've named the 'Bounce Anomaly'. NASA were very keen to help once they had seen our data." However the $3 billion space telescope was unable to produce any clues as to what the signals are bouncing off. One theory is a massive cloud of asteroids is acting like a mirror in space reflecting radio signals from our past, back to us.

A BBC team have been working closely with Dr Venn's team to help recover the signals. BBC Television historian Peter Wells, explained "We now know these are original broadcasts. So far we have recovered about 7 weeks of old television signals from space. Every day in our lab is like traveling back in time. And speaking of which we have just started the digital recovery of signals that contain lost Doctor Who episodes.

Doctor Who
Lost Doctor Who episodes recovered from space.

The BBC will be archiving all the recordings recovered from space and there are plans to broadcast some of the highlights later in the year.

1 comment:

Bill H said...

April Fool - I fell for it too :-(