What We Learn From Noisy Signals From Deep Space

The art of finding insights in cosmic static

Popular Science
Nov 21 · 11 min read
Isolated in the Mojave Desert, the 21-story DSS-14 dish can hear calls from space probes in — and beyond — the solar system. Photo: NASA/Doug Ellison

By Ryan Bradley

Look up. Somewhere beyond our solar system, where it’s well below zero, ­pitch-dark, and the next-nearest star is a 400-century ride away, an electrical charge sparks a radio signal. The blip is faint, some 22 watts, no more power than a typical refrigerator bulb…

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