Day 134: Extraterrestrial Radio Signal Received!

NPR SETI College-Prep Physics: I used to create a fake NPR news page about receiving a message from ET. I told the class astronomers had cracked the code and that we could “listen” to it. I played them this audio file I made:

  • Did you get any useful information from that message?
  • Describe the message. What did you hear?
  • Transcribe the message. Do you see a pattern? How can we decode it?
  • How many different tones are there? How many sounds all together?
  • Might it be a word? A picture? Why/why not?
  • How are digital photos encoded? What do you see when you enlarge a digital photo?
  • How many different grid configurations will yield 35 squares?
  • What’s special about 5 and 7? Why 35 total sounds instead of 36?
  • Decode the message for both possible arrangements. Which one yields a message?  What about the other one?
  • Is this message real? How do you know?

Then we looked at the radio message sent from Arecibo into space in 1974. Can you try to decode it?

Conceptual Physics: Chapter 12 quiz (magnets and electromagnetic induction)


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About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

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