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Home / Science / How can you tell if this ET story is real? St. Andrews scientists revise the Rio Scale for alien encounters

How can you tell if this ET story is real? St. Andrews scientists revise the Rio Scale for alien encounters



24th July, Mountain View, California – An international research team, led by scientists from the University of St. Andrews and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, redefines the alien detection scale.

What are the consequences for? the human race when we encounter extraterrestrial intelligence? If you see a story about aliens on TV or online, how excited should you be? A new study, published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, has outstripped a long-used tool to classify possible alien intelligence signals and make them fit for the modern world of news and social media.

First developed in 2001, the Rio Scale is a tool used by astronomers seeking extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to teach the public "how excited" they should be about what has been observed. The scale measures the consequences for humans when the signal comes from extraterrestrials, as well as the likelihood that the signal really comes from aliens and is not a natural or man-made phenomenon. The scale gives a score between zero and ten, so that the public can quickly see how important a signal really is.

"The world knows the Richter scale to quantify the severity of an earthquake, and this number is reported immediately after a quake and later refined as more data is consolidated," said Jill Tarter, co-founder of the SETI Institute. The SETI community seeks to create a scale that can accompany and refine reports of any claims about the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence. Over time, more data will be available. This scale should convey both the significance and the credibility of the claimed discovery. Rio 2.0 is an attempt to update the scale in order to make it more useful and compatible with the current types of information dissemination, as well as to provide means for the public to familiarize themselves with the scale. "

In recent years, many dubious signals have been reported as" extraterrestrials "and the truth about t These stories are becoming increasingly difficult, so an updated Rio scale is needed.

 The Rio Scale

The new study, by Dr. med. Led by Duncan Forgan at the University's Center for Exoplanet Research, it sheds light on the changes in the news media, the growth of 24-hour news, and the new landscape of social media. Coupled with the growing effort to discover ETIs by teams around the world, the Rio scale is needed more than ever, and it must remain relevant if it informs the public about "alien signals".

The revision of the Rio Scale (Rio 2.0) international research team aims to reach consensus on academic disciplines when classifying signals that may indicate the existence of advanced extraterrestrial life. Rio 2.0 can quickly calibrate the public's expectations of a reported signal and educate them on how SETI scientists actually evaluate a signal, from the initial detection to the various verification stages, to determine if a signal is credible from ETI to the research It also includes the development of consistent, consistent terminology for the discussion of signals from both researchers and the media.

The team has published an online scale calculator, an interactive tool for scientists and science communicators to evaluate signals (1

9659002) Duncan Forgan from the University of St. Andrews' Center for Exoplanet Research said: "It's absolutely critical that we talk about something as meaningful as the discovery of intelligent life beyond Earth, we do it clearly and carefully Signaling that is easy to understand for the general public and helping us to trust a world full of fake news. "

The new Rio scale has now been submitted to the International Standing Committee of the Astronautics Academy for SETI for official ratification [19659002] To read the full article, click here


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