An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Scientists have now created their own Richter-like Scale [for measuring alien signals] to explain whether a finding is a damp squib or has truly seismic implications. The new scale allows scientists to rate interesting signals detected in searches for extraterrestrial intelligence from 0 to 10, where 0 is nothing to get excited about and 10 is equivalent to "an alien space probe orbiting the Earth or an alien shaking your hand," said Duncan Forgan, who worked on the project, at the University of St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science. Known as Rio 2.0, the scale is a proposed upgrade of an existing Rio scale that is already used by the alien-hunting community. It assigns scores to Seti ("search for extraterrestrial intelligence") signals by taking into account both the potential implications of the signal and the likelihood that it is genuine, rather than down to natural or human-made phenomena. Under the proposals, scientists could issue their own Rio scale number for any interesting signals they detect, but so could fellow academics who review their work for publication. The rating system is also being made available to the public. The scientists detailed the new Rio scale in the International Journal of Astrobiology.
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