Science fiction has taught us for decades that when aliens arrive on Earth, it’s going to be a bad day for mankind. Those fictional horror stories haven’t deterred some scientists from thinking up ways that we might attract alien civilizations to Earth, and a new feasibility study suggests that we could send a laser beam into the cosmos to act like a beacon for alien life to find.
The work, which was published in The Astrophysical Journal, suggests that existing technology could be used to produce an infrared beam bright enough to be spotted by intelligent alien civilizations. Once discovered, it would be like a bread crumb trail pointing right back to Earth, and extraterrestrials could come calling.
“This would be a challenging project but not an impossible one,” James Clark, author of the study, said in a statement. “The kinds of lasers and telescopes that are being built today can produce a detectable signal so that an astronomer could take one look at our star and immediately see something unusual about its spectrum. I don’t know if intelligent creatures around the sun would be their first guess, but it would certainly attract further attention.”
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