Aliens Could Be Attracted To Earth By Lasers Researchers Say
Alien life may be contacted and signaled to Earth by using extremely powerful lasers directed out into deep space, according to scientists at MIT. In what is being called a 'feasibility report', James Clark suggests focusing a 1 or 2-megawatt laser into space.
For many decades, radio signals have been emitted into space with the hope of contacting intelligent alien lifeforms. However, it may be that the sun, and other solar masses beyond our system are interfering with these signals, hindering the ability of these transmissions to reach any potential extra terrestrial receivers. Lasers could be the solution to this problem.
The plan would be to focus the laser through a telescope to magnify it. It would likely target areas such as Proxima Centauri, our closest neighboring star. It has a number of orbiting exoplanets that researchers surmise may be habitable by life. Clark, from MIT's Dept of Aeronautics and Astronautics has high hopes for the plan according to his press statement...
"If we were to successfully close a handshake and start to communicate, we could flash a message, at a data rate of about a few hundred bits per second, which would get there in just a few years."
The telescope required to magnify a laser to such a powerful level would need to be at least 35-45 meters in diameter. There is currently a telescope of similar dimensions being constructed in Europe. The main issue with this plan will be in regards to safety. The laser would theoretically produce 800 watts of power per square meter, which is nearly as strong as the sun. Anyone looking at this laser could suffer severe eye damage, resulting in blindness. A radical and futuristic solution would be to deploy this laser at the far side of the moon, safely away from people, says Clark.
Currently, this is only a feasibility study, and this laser may never actually be developed. However, if there is a way to contact life in space, this seems to be a better option than those currently being exercised.