KOMPAS.com – Humans continue to desire to know whether there is another life outside the Earth. Now, scientists have new ideas to steal the attention of our galaxy's neighbors.
They plan to use laser technology that we already have today as a flare or 'light planetary veranda' for aliens who might be looking for us.
Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say that the light of the veranda will be able to be captured by other extraterrestrial life as far as 20,000 light years.
According to the team, infrared lasers can also be used to send basic messages into space. This serves a kind of Morse code to tell other creatures about human existence on planet Earth.
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"This will be a challenging project, but it is not impossible not to do it," said James Clark, one of the researchers who participated in the study.
"The types of lasers and telescopes that are being built today can produce detectable signals, so that other creatures can see our stars and immediately see something unusual with the spectrum and will definitely attract further attention," he said as quoted from Science AlertOn Wednesday (11/07/2018).
The feasibility study proposes the use of 1-2 megawatts of focused laser through a 30-45 meter telescope.
That will create a beam of infrared radiation that is strong enough to defeat the energy produced by the Sun and because of that, it might be strong enough to be captured by the eyes of the aliens.
The closest possibility is that aliens in the Proxima Centauri region (the closest star to Earth) or TRAPPIST-1 (a star potentially inhabited within 40 light years) can capture the transmitted signal.
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But the problem is, while there are no adequate telescopes. Meanwhile the laser must be fired from a high place to minimize atmospheric interference or the camera in the spacecraft passing through it.
"If we start communicating, we can send messages at speeds of around a few hundred bits per second that will get there in just a few years," Clark said.
The new study also includes an analysis of whether similar laser beams made from space can be captured by instruments on Earth, although some experts say that is not possible because there will be too many barriers that cover the light.
It is not clear when this plan will be executed. But at least if humans want to start 'advertising' the existence of Earth, we already know one way.
"In general, this is a feasibility study. Is this a good idea or not, this needs more discussion later," Clark said.
This research has been published in The Astrophysical Journal.