Skip to comments.The new race to contact E.T.
Posted on 05/21/2020 4:46:49 PM PDT by Kaslin
In an article over at Space.com, Leonard David describes a new development in the efforts by humans to contact extraterrestrial life elsewhere in the galaxy. While the SETI program (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has been in operation for decades, the results thus far have been mostly disappointing. There was a brief flurry of excitement in 1977 when the WOW signal was received, but in later years even that one has been called into question. Now, however, theres a new player in the game. China has constructed the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world and they are reportedly gearing up to hunt for potential alien signals from space. So are we headed toward a 21st-century arms race to see who can get E.T. to phone home first?
According to the experts they spoke with, this one of those rare areas where there really wont be much in the way of geopolitics messing up the process, so a new space race isnt in the cards. The reason is that the process of acquiring signals at such low levels across such a vast target area requires the cooperation of nations with large radio telescopes around the world. The odds are good that if we do finally hear something interesting, no single country will claim all the credit for it as it will likely involve scientists from multiple nations.
The interesting word in their analysis, however, is the word contact. Up until now, most of what weve done has just involved listening in the hopes of detecting some sort of radio waves from an alien intelligence. But the new FAST dish in China is capable of more than passive detection. They can actually broadcast powerful, targeted signals out into space that might eventually be detected by another civilization.
So is that really a good idea? Scientists from Carl Sagan to Stephen Hawking have warned us against such a move over the years. Sure, everyone wants to be the first to discover another intelligent species, but what if these signals attract undesirable attention from a potentially hostile race? If theyve got the technology to make it all the way to Earth, theyve probably got weapons we havent even imagined yet.
Of course, the odds of any signals sent from China today reaching another civilization and getting an answer in our lifetimes are pretty slim. Even a signal sent to the closest star to ours would take more than four years to arrive and another for years for the reply to reach us. And most of the really interesting exoplanets discovered during the Kepler mission were much further away than that.
But all of this leaves what should by now, be an obvious question dangling in front of us. What if we dont need to hook up a phone call with someone thats light-years away from us to contact E.T.? What if theyre already within cell tower distance? Lets face it somebody had to build those Tic Tacs that our Navy has been chasing around. And somebody might even be flying them. Id be a lot more interested in seeing them dial-up someones smartphone and let us know whats going on. (Hey aliens. Ill give you my digits. Im available.)
But at least so far, whoever or whatever is directing the movements of those things doesnt seem interested in talking to us. Unless, of course, theyre already talking to our government and were being left in the dark about it. But thats a conspiracy theory for another column.
Researchers using Chinas new Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), the largest single-dish scope in the world, are piecing together a technological strategy to carry out a major and sweeping search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). What if China someday announces that this hunt has been successful? How would such a claim be verified, and what might the consequences be? And could an unofficial international SETI race already be underway? Space.com asked several SETI authorities to flesh out the implications of China being the first nation to get a ping from ET.
And then the interstellar travelers will lookupon Earths political party system and then...will leave.
If ET is close enough to respond in our lifetimes then they already know we’re here.
That is the true purpose of the 5G network.
Why bother. If there were really aliens why have we never seen any indication of them except for 1950s flying saucer movies.
Why would they? It seems to me analogous to us talking to a colony of ants.
There’s nobody out there
ETs are maintaining social distance and won’t come closer than 6 lightyears (and that’s a measure of distance, for those in Rio Linda)
One has to have incredible hubris to imagine that some advanced alien species still uses the electromagnetic spectrum to communicate. Looking in all the wrong places with the wrong tools.
See James Clerk Maxwell’s 200 field equations, the mathematician that made both Tesla and Einstein the men they became.
I think E.T. used to exist, but they had dirt on Hillary.
If so then why are they working on 6G network?
Yeah, ahem... America had the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world FOR OVER 50 YEARS. That didn't work out too well in the ET searching game. Now China is going to repeat that rather embarrassing long-standing failed strategy.
Einstein had a word for that: Insanity.
Even if the Chinese contact aliens first, we know they don’t speak Chinee. Every space movie since 1950 shows that aliens would speak Amurican.
or they are hiding - see the Dark Forest theory - an answer the Fermi’s Paradox
Isn’t that Barbara Rush.
You mean he did, don’t you?
I don’t believe in them either.
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