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February 23, 2010

To serve man

Lord Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society and astronomer to the Queen, says aliens may be staring us in the face, we but lack the appropriate nervous system to apprehend them.

He is quite right, of course (I have read Lovecraft). The views of Dr Frank Drake are a different matter. This tool will suggest we like a beacon of some kind next.

...Dr Frank Drake, the world’s leading “ET hunter”, told the conference that satellite TV and the “digital revolution” was making humanity invisible to aliens by cutting the transmission of TV and radio signals into space.

At present, the Earth is surrounded by a 50 light year-wide "shell" of radiation from analogue TV, radio and radar transmissions. But although the signals have spread far enough to reach many nearby star systems, they are rapidly vanishing in the wake of digital technology, according to Dr Drake.

That 50 light year-wide shell could get us all killed. Something for all life on this planet to consider for the 100,000 years or for however long it takes for those television and radio transmissions to clear the galaxy.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 23, 2010 09:52 AM