Skip to content

Scientists plan to phone E.T. at home, but it could be a bad idea. Here's why

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
9/15/2017 (11 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Should we be broadcasting our coordinates to the universe?

Scientists plan to send a signal into deep space to see if aliens are out there. However, experts warn we could endanger humanity by doing it.

Scientists plan to starts calling nearby planets at the end of 2018.

Scientists plan to starts calling nearby planets at the end of 2018.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
9/15/2017 (11 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: message, aliens, danger, space, life


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Scientists are planning to phone a series of habitable planets around nearby stars to see if any aliens reply. Experts warn the exercise could be dangerous, should someone intelligent answer.

For now, it is impossible for humans to travel to other stars. In fact, we can barely travel to our own moon. How can we discover life on other planets if we cannot visit them? It turns out there are a couple ways.


The first involves using an ultra-powerful space-based telescope to look at starlight as it passes through the atmospheres of planets in orbit around them. By studying the light, we can detect biomarkers, those are gasses such as oxygen, which is produced by biological activity. This ability is in its infancy, and the James Webb Space Telescope, which will use this method to study several planets, won't be launched for another year. The results will tell us if it is likely that life exists on the planet, but it will not tell us much about the nature of that life, or whether or not it is intelligent.

The method has two advantages. The first is that the results will arrive almost instantly. The second is that nobody knows we are looking at them. It's a safe method, and one that should work. But it does not provide much information.

The second method is using radio waves to potentially communicate with intelligent aliens living on nearby planets.

The second method is slower, as a signal must travel to the distant planet, which can take several years at the speed of light. The signal has to be received, understood, a reply has to be composed and transmitted, then the reply has to be sent back, a journey that can take several years. Finally, we have to receive and translate the message on Earth.

Sending messages even to planets just a dozen light years away will take at least 24 years to make the round trip.

The good news is if we connect with an intelligent civilization, we can begin communicating right away, even though it will take a quarter century or more to ask and answer a question.

But there's a huge potential downside.

Intelligent aliens could receive the signal, but not reply. Instead, they could pinpoint the source and know that Earth is suitable for life. If the civilization is sufficiently advanced, they could come to Earth with the intent of colonizing the planet for themselves.

Experts, such as Stephen Hawking have pointed out this danger and referred to the Native American experience upon the arrival of the more technologically advanced Europeans.

In defense of the experiment, humanity has been signalling its location for over a century by emitting radio waves into space. Every radio broadcast, every television signal, radiates into space. The signal weakens as it goes, by a sensitive antenna can still receive the signal, even dozens to hundreds of light years away.

That means if intelligent, malevolent aliens are listening, they could already know we are here.

More than likely however, neither the James Webb Space Telescope, nor our attempts to phone nearby planets will yield no results. So far, there is no evidence that life exists anywhere in the universe except Earth. The odds alone suggest we are not alone, but the hard evidence remains non-existent.

So, the question remains, whether we are alone in the universe or not.

As Arthur C. Clarke once explained: Two possibilities exist, either we are alone in the universe or we are not, both possibilities are equally terrifying.

Why is YouTube censoring the BIBLE?

---


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'


Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2018
Priests and their Pastoral Ministry.
That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.


Comments


More Technology

Will Facebook finally charge users? Company value plunges on weak results, poor outlook Watch

Image of Zuckerberg lost $18 billion in just five minutes of trading.

Facebook stock plunged yesterday on a poor report to Wall Street. The company's stock fell almost 20 percent, wiping out almost $150 ... continue reading


Someone in China just used blockchain to evade censorship and the implications are staggering Watch

Image of The Great Firewall of China has been breached.

Someone in China has just used blockchain technology to evade censorship, and the implications are staggering. Just as the printing press ... continue reading


Longest Blood Moon eclipse of 21st century looms, along with bad news -- is it an omen? Watch

Image of During a lunar eclipse, the moon can turn orange to blood red or black.

The longest eclipse of the 21st century will occur on the night of July 28, 2018. The eclipse will last for a minute shy of 4 hours, and ... continue reading


What do they know that we don't? Why billionaires are planning for the end of the world Watch

Image of The most famous blast door in the world on Cheyenne mountain. While this is a military installation, billionaires around the world are building their own versions of doomsday bunkers.

Rich people stay rich by figuring out before the rest of us what will happen next. This is why futurists often look at what rich people are ... continue reading


What does the discovery of complex organics on Enceladus mean for Catholics? Watch

Image of Could Enceladus host life? The discovery of complex organic molecules hints at the possibility.

Scientists are excited over the discovery of complex organic molecules on Enceladus. Here is what the discovery is and what it means for ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.