We are experiencing technical difficulties …

Tonight (it’s all relative to where you are, and I’m in California) something unusual is going on with our SonATA observations. Since we started up a bit before midnight local time, Jon Richards and I have been babysitting the automatic SonATA (that’s SETI on the ATA) observing system. It started up on time from the observing cron files, but something is non-standard. Jon and I have spent the past few hours trying to figure out what’s going on – what changed – what might the error messages we’ve been receiving really mean???? For those of you familiar with software coding and embedded error messages, you can understand that error message XXX_XXXX doesn’t necessarily tell you what the REAL problem is. Jon (as brilliant as he is) and I haven’t been able to decipher tonight’s messages. Data are being taken and decisions are being made and we are continuing with our observing. However, when Jane Jordan, the particular wizard best suited to solving this puzzle, looks at the logs on Monday; she may tell us that tonight’s data are compromised and we should reobserve all of these targets/frequencies. Why wait until Monday? Why don’t we get Jane out of bed right now and have her tell us what’s really wrong? Our SETI team is tiny, and our observations take place EVERY day. We need to move forward with new ideas while we enable our ongoing observations. So at the risk of having to inform you, and the team, that tonight’s observations aren’t valid and will need to be redone, we are letting Jane sleep so she can be awake to help us improve SonATA and SETILive. Tonight, the SonATA system tells me that we are observing three targets simultaneously, but when I try to classify signals at SETILive.org, I am being presented with only one beam, not three. Welcome to the world of real observational science, and please accept my apologies for any “do overs” we need to do to get the job done.


About The Zooniverse

Online citizen science projects. The Zooniverse is doing real science online,.

3 responses to “We are experiencing technical difficulties …”

  1. cosmicphil says :

    That’s life ; the (Live) Show must go on !
    We are with you in this citizen scientific adventure !

  2. Linda Randall says :


    looks like a telephone number it’s trying to connect to something does it have a code number like that?

  3. Linda Randall says :



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