A new scale designed to give the public an expert view of any claimed detection of extraterrestrial intelligence has been launched today by the International Academy of Astronautics' Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Permanent Study Group at the World Space Congress in Houston.
The Rio Scale was initiated by Drs. Ivan Almar of Hungary and Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute in California to give the media and the public an idea of the credibility and importance -- as determined by a panel of SETI scientists -- of any claim that intelligence elsewhere in the universe has been detected.
To demonstrate the Rio Scale, Dr. Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute and Almar have authored a paper for the World Space Congress assessing fictional and past non-fictional SETI events.
From the realm of fiction they include the films Contact, The Arrival, Independence Day, The Sphere and 2001: A Space Odyssey and books including The Listeners, The Sparrow and The Coming. The non-fiction claims include the "face on Mars" and a SETI hoax involving the star EQ Peg.
So what Rio Scale rating would they get? The scale runs from zero (for non-credible claims of detection) to ten (for a completely reliable detection.) The SETI type detection in the movie Contact gets high marks near 10 because of the confirmations by telescopes around the world.
On the other hand a claim of a real detection in the EQ Peg hoax reaches only 3-4 on the scale during the claim, dropping to zero when a large radio telescope proves the signal is false.
"Hollywood has been rather inventive about scenarios involving contact with extraterrestrial societies, and their stories are well known," says Shostak.
"Some of these films make good 'lab rats' for testing out the Rio Scale, and testing is definitely desirable. After all, if SETI researchers picks up a signal, it will be very useful to have a scheme in place for assessing the importance and reliability of the discovery."
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express
Astronomer Speaks Up For ET
Sydney - Oct 1, 2002
While some scientists cautiously plan for ways to reply to extraterrestrial transmissions, others haven't waited for a signal to start talking. Sending messages from Earth into space to announce the existence of the human race is somewhat rare and controversial. Digital transmissions have been beamed into space from radio telescopes, and four spacecraft currently leaving the solar system bear messages for anyone who finds them.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|