The Clinic has noticed increased anxiety levels in some patients due to the release of the version 2.0 software for Seti at Home. Changes in the way the program presents the processing results, have led to confusion for those people who are unclear as to what the new graphics really mean. As a public service, the Clinic has compiled a detailed explanation of what the new program is looking for and registering on the screen.
The older Seti at Home program represented the results of your work with numbers and a color bar. The new Seti at Home program represents the results of processing your work unit in a pictorial format. Once you understand what various elements in the picture stand for, you will be able to interpret for yourself whether your work unit has found an interesting signal.
We begin with a picture of a result from a standard work unit that includes explanations for the three major parts of the graphic.
Someone might ask: "But how does an earth based signal register as a gaussian?" The answer is quite simple. The earth based object that is generating the gaussian is moving closer and farther away from the telescope, while the telescope remains stationary. Gaussian signals that are generated by objects outside the earth, are stationary but the telescope is moving because of the earth's rotation. We will not try to bore you with the scientific equations that prove how all this works. All you have to do is remember this simple explanation.
Now we will look at the figure below to learn what the graphics represent. Many guassian signals generate unique identifying patterns that you will see repeating from one work unit to another. Go to Figure 2 and click on the various objects to learn more about where your signals could be coming from.