How to Attract an Alien’s Attention

November 7, 2018 By IdeaConnection

AliensSo, what should you do if you want to attract the attention of extra-terrestrials and get them to visit our little old planet? 

Scientists at MIT have got an idea. We just leave the light on.

Well, not any ordinary light.  This would be a laser technology on Earth that could emit a beacon of light that would be detected up to 20,000 light years away.

That’s an idea being proposed in a paper in the current edition of The Astrophysical Journal.  The authors suggest that a high-powered 1- to 2-megawatt laser could be focused through a 30-to 45-meter telescope and aimed out into space. 

This combination would produce a beam of infrared radiation strong enough to stand out from the sun.  Therefore, if any alien astronomers happen to be pointing their telescopes at our corner of the Milky Way there's a chance they could spot us.

Sending a Message

If the signal is spotted, and the aliens are kind enough to let us know that we've been seen the same beam that's been generated on Earth could be used to send messages.

“If we were to successfully close a handshake and start to communicate, we could flash a message, at a data rate of about a few hundred bits per second, which would get there in just a few years,” said James Clark, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an author of the study.

The idea may seem a little far-fetched to some but the technology to create such a system is already with us.

Click here to read the paper - Optical detection of lasers with near-term technology at interstellar distances.

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