Update on conclusions presented in The Talk of the Galaxy

November 2005

These updated findings are presented in the second edition of this book,
which is entitled:
Decoding the Message of the Pulsars


(Please note that the following discussion builds on concepts set forth in The Talk of the Galaxy and therefore is best understood if you have already read the book.  Alternatively, see the essay "The Forgotten Challenge: Pulsars" for an overview of some of the book's ideas.)

Further Evidence for an ETI Origin

1. The map charting the sky locations of pulsars (figures 9 and 13 in the first edition of The Talk of the Galaxy) has now been revised and no longer shows a clump or pulsars positioned adjacent to the Galactic one-radian point.  When The Talk of the Galaxy was first published in 2000, a total of 1100 pulsars had been cataloged.  As of the end of 2007, this number has risen to 1775.  Most of the new pulsar additions have southern hemisphere locations, having been located in the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey.  With the new data set, a galactic longitude histogram that shows the distribution of pulsars along the galactic equator no longer shows a decline in pulsar population extending from the one-radian longitude (l ~ 57.3°) toward the Galactic center. This is because most of the newly discovered pulsars lie in the central part of the Galaxy and hence the profile showing their distribution as a function of galactic longitude now absorbs this former clump.  However, the sharp cut off in pulsar population just beyond the one-radian longitude is still present and, as before, is not easily explained as being due to any natural cause or selection effect.

2. In September 2005 Dr. LaViolette made several new discoveries which along with other findings described in The Talk of the Galaxy strongly support the interpretation that pulsar beacons have an extraterrestrial intelligence origin.  

a) The two fastest pulsars in the sky, the Millisecond Pulsar and the Eclipsing Binary Millisecond (EBM) Pulsar, not only are among the closest pulsars to the one-radian longitude (as pointed out in 2000), but their longitude positions accurately portray the 1-to-2p relation.  That is, if one takes the angular deviation of the Millisecond Pulsar longitude from the Galactic one-radian longitude and divides by the deviation in longitude between the Millisecond Pulsar and the EBM Pulsar, the ratio so obtained is within 0.1% of being exactly equal to 1/2p.  In other words, through their sky positions, these two pulsars express the one-radian concept -- portraying the fraction of a circle's circumference that is represented by a one-radian arc.

b) If one takes the longitudinal deviation of the Millisecond Pulsar from the Galactic one-radian longitude, bisects this arc and adds the result to the angular deviation between the longitudes of these two millisecond pulsars, then divides the sum by 57.2958° to express the angle in radians, one obtains 3.1809%. This is within 0.09% of equaling 3.1837%, the fractional amount that the period of the EBM Pulsar deviates from the period of the Millisecond Pulsar.  (It is logical to use the Millisecond Pulsar period as the base reference since it is not only the second fastest pulsar in the sky but also the closest to the Galaxy's equatorial one-radian longitude point.

c) The ratios described in both a) and b) would have been exact if the pulsar positions were observed between 1750 and 1800 AD.  The ratios are less exact today since the longitude sky position of the EBM Pulsar is gradually changing due to the pulsar's proper motion toward the Galactic center.

d) Since 2000, a new eclipsing binary pulsar has been discovered (J1953+1846A), which lies in the vicinity of the one-radian longitude.  It has almost the same angular separation from the Gamma Sagittae pointer star as the EBM Pulsar.  Its close sky position proximity to both the EBM pulsar and to Gamma Sagittae is quite surprising since only 14 eclipsing binary pulsars are known to exist, less than one percent of the pulsar population.  Interestingly, if one takes the period of this pulsar (4.8883 milliseconds) and divides by that of the Millisecond Pulsar (1.5578), one obtains 3.1380, which is within 0.1% of being exactly equal to p.

All of the above is best understood within the context of the arguments and perspective carefully set forth in The Talk of the Galaxy.  Needless to say, the apparent sky positions of these pulsars which exhibit these pi ratios can be seen as such only from our particular viewing perspective.  We are led to conclude that this one-radian message is intentionally targeted toward our solar system.