“All his life Johnny had loved the stars. On some nights when he lay gazing up at them it almost felt as if they were calling out to him, whispering his name across the vastness of space.”
The beginning of Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London sees Johnny, with a little help from Kovac and Bentley, discovering a signal from space.
Scientists involved with SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, use radio telescopes to look for signals from aliens. Just like Johnny, you can help them by using the Seti@home screensaver to analyse genuine signals from radio telescopes and report back with your findings.
Or, if you want a bit of fun, you can have a go on the Alien Bandstand game at the Sonoma Space Mysteries site. A DJ thinks he’s downloaded some alien rock music and is going to make a fortune. It’s up to you to discover if the signal’s genuine. Here are some screenshots from when Johnny had a go:
Images courtesy of NASA/Sonoma State University
There are plenty more space games to play if you visit the mysteries site, run by California’s Sonoma State University.