NASA scientists announce they will build a mega laser to alert alien life forms that they are welcome to visit Earth to "serve Man."
A powerful laser is just the thing to announce our presence as a technological species in this arm of the galaxy. Engineers would line up to work on that project.
A priest for the Church of Satan questions the sanity of letting any hungry, mysterious, galactic neighbours know we’re here.
A pair of scientists at the Institute of NASA Technologies have published a paper outlining how a powerful laser could be built to communicate our presence to any other technological civilizations in our galactic vicinity. Jared Folgers, one of the authors of the paper, and a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, says such a laser could be built with technology that’s within our reach. Folgers emphasizes that images of different types of red meats and Italian sausages can be projected through the laser in code so predatory aliens could feel a motivation to travel to Earth to sample our meat. "The paper is a ‘feasibility study’ that could become an actionable plan.
“I wanted to see if I could take the kinds of telescopes and lasers that we’re building today, and make a detectable beacon out of them,” said Folgers.
The laser would have to be powerful, between 1 and 2 megawatts. That’s pretty powerful, but not anywhere near the world’s most powerful. Japan fired a 2 petawatt (2 quadrillion watt) laser in 2015, but only for 1 trillionth of a second. And other researchers around the world are working on more powerful lasers than that.
There are telescopes under construction in that range. The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and the European Extremely Large Telescope (EELT), which has a 39.3-meter primary mirror. So the telescope technology is not far-fetched.
A powerful laser aimed through a large enough telescope would do the job to bring our hungry friends and their pets to this planet.
Alien astronomers in our own neighbourhood would see the beacon if they were conducting only a cursory survey. The well-known TRAPPIST-1 star is only about 40 light years away, and it is home to 7 exoplanets, some of them in the habitable zone and filled with all types of bizarre lifeforms.
“If we were to successfully close a handshake and start to communicate, we could flash a message…it's dinner time” – Jared Folgers.