Scientists want to build a laser that could lead an extraterrestrial civilization and bring it to Earth.
A new research paper from the MIT graduate suggests that humanity could theoretically build an infrared laser that could be hot and bright enough to attract the attention of intelligent civilizations if it were focused on nearby exoplanets. James Clark, lead author of the study, believes he would "certainly attract attention."
"It will be a challenging project, but it is not impossible," Clark said in his statement. "The types of lasers and telescopes that are built today can create a detectable signal, so the astronomer could look at our star and immediately see something unusual about the spectrum. I do not know if the intelligent creatures around the Sun were their first quarrel, but surely they would it attracted more attention. "
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Study published in 2006 Astrophysical Journal, points out that the likelihood of contact is low in current methods and technology, but progress in the coming years could make it possible.
"While the likelihood of closing a handshake even with nearby alien intelligence is low in current survey methods, advances in SETI-wide SETI surveys and other uses may reduce the time shift between humans for several decades or centuries, laser systems may close kbps-Mpbs , "reads the study. "Another important inter-ring of search for extraterrestrial lasers is the extension of spectral searches into infrared radiation, where most earthbound communications and high-performance lasers are produced."
Research suggests that a laser that has a power of 1 to 2 megawatts and comes from a telescope of a length of at least 100 feet, headed into space, could attract civilization attention from a distance of 20,000 light-years from Earth.
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"If we successfully closed the handshake and started communicating, we could flash a message with a data rate of about a few hundred bits per second that would have come in a few years," Clark said in a statement.
Despite the excitement of 20,000 light-years of laser firing, far-reaching security problems are present, Clark said, including the inherent energy generated by the laser
(the flow density of about 800 watts of power per square meter, which is close to the Sun), and the view of the beam damages people's sight if they are looking directly at the beam even if they are not visible.
"If you want to build this thing on the opposite side of the Moon, where no one lives or circulates, then it could be a safer place," Clark added. "Generally, it was a feasibility study, no matter how good it is, it's a discussion for future work."
Clark and co-author of the study, Kerri Cahoy, believe that a telescopic beacon could help to contact strangers if it helped to make the sun visible and to effectively emit lightning, which would make the intelligent civilization sit and take note.
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"With current reconnaissance methods and tools, it is unlikely that we would really be lucky to imagine a flash beacon, provided aliens exist and do them," Clark said. "However, as the infrared spectra of the exoplanets are investigating the traces of gases that show the viability of life, and as global surveys reach more coverage and become faster, we can be more confident that if we call E.T., we will find out."
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