Something new, some things to come

We’ve been live in this initial phase for over nearly two weeks now and the number of people joining the search and your genuine excitement for the project has been downright awe-inspiring and very gratifying for the entire SETILive/Zooniverse team.
By getting involved with SETILive you’re joining a truly live experiment and the most ambitious project the Zooniverse has ever built from both a technical (taking live data from the ATA) and user-interface standpoint. Building an interface that will allow us to spot potentially interesting signals has been our main focus thus far and following some very helpful feedback from the SETILive community we’re updating the signal-marking interface today to make it more flexible and descriptive, and we’re expanding the tutorial resources.
The immediate goal of marking signals in SETI Live is to work out what signals are terrestrial interference so we can trigger a followup observation at the ATA for promising signals. As you probably know, we’ve had some start up issues with web sites and maintaining live data connection with the ATA and that is now becoming stable. With the general stability improving and with these improvements to the interface, we’re in good shape to start fully closing the loop and over the next week or so we’ll be working to fully and consistently enable the followup requests to the ATA. We’ll also be working on introducing artificial ET signals now and again to the signals and of course, will indicate to you when that happens right after you finish marking the observation. This will allow us to get our evaluation of this experiment off and running in the coming weeks.
We’ve changed the marking process to make the “Describe the Signal” a two-step process, which should reduce some confusion. We still have the basic tutorial introduction and that should still be enough to get you right into it, but we’ve expanded the tutorial resources for you if you want more guidance or background information. There’s now a live video showing how to mark a range of examples.We’ve also enhanced our Signal Gallery, still showing information on what might be producing the signals , but when you move your mouse over the image, you get marking advice both visually and in the text.
So, welcome to the next phase of SETILive! We’ve taken a few small, but significant steps in making this work better for you and therefore, better for the quality of the science we eventually produce together. We all hope that will be finding a truly promising signal, but it could be analyzing the implications of NOT finding one, or quantifying the possibilities of applying your collective intelligence in this way to this type of problem. Any of these outcomes will be scientifically important.
In the discussions, there’s a lot of interest in more background on what it is you’re seeing and what to expect an ET signal to look like. In the near future, look on this blog for more background information on the science of SETI and the nature of signals both terrestrial and extraterrestrial.
In the background, we’ll also be looking at subtle changes in the way we present the data to you that could help you see weak signals better and more consistently. Of course, we have to be very careful about any changes to what you’ve already got better and better at using. We’ll also be evaluating alternate visualizations that involve color, but that is a tricky business and we won’t change anything that dramatically without some careful evaluation.
Thanks to all of you for getting us off to such a great start and for helping us to make it better.

13 responses to “Something new, some things to come”

  1. cosmicphil says :

    Thank you all for making this dream a reality !!

  2. AngieW says :

    love the video! thanks

  3. rickythomson says :

    Awesome. It’s become much easier to choose a description for signals now, great improvement.


  4. Panchorov says :

    Gracias por el tutorial ahora es más fácil.

    Thanks for the tutorial now easier.

  5. scott2012 says :

    Great video tutorial – very useful. Thank you.

  6. bananarama says :

    What would a signal from earth look like 50 light years away? surely it would be a garbled mixed up static snow storm, right with all the millions of radio and tv etc signals we’ve put out?
    One signal back from Pioneer 10 is easy to see because its on its own in the vacumn of space, anyhow, is there anyway we can get an idea of what Pioneer 10 would see looking back at us?
    I cant imagine getting one ET signal, I would expect trillions.

  7. Adam says :

    Could you please consider another way to ask the “Would you like to discuss this signal” question. I never do and it’s just an extra click. Just a suggestion, great work all around!

  8. saurabh says :

    please give me details and how to connect myself for this target

  9. Aradia says :

    The new marking interface is awesome! Thanks!

  10. Denise Hemphill says :

    You really have done such a great job making the tutorials and signal pages smoother!

  11. John Hynes says :

    This is very interesting web site and enjoy being part of it! I have not as of yet watched a live feed–This is only my second day here–Patiently waiting for the excitement though!

  12. galen says :

    Love this site/project.

  13. rgetsie says :

    Thank you for sharing this information with all of us. I’m wondering if there is a way to analyze the visual data using different spectrums of light, too? I’m thinking of Infrared Thermal Imaging. That would be an awesome tool to work with and could help us out here visualize the electromagnetic radiation signatures found in all the different spectrums. Maybe I should go to bed now (laughing) because I’ve been studying all day. Thanks again and have a smooth 1!

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