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Can we mask the Earth from hostile aliens ?

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Author Topic: Can we mask the Earth from hostile aliens ?  (Read 66 times)
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« on: April 10, 2016, 12:03:52 am »


Professor David Kipping and graduate student Alex Teachey, both of Columbia University, decided to see how much laser light it would take to mask the dimming caused by our planet's transit. According to their math, it would take about 10 continuous hours of shining a 30 MW laser once a year to eliminate the transit signal in visible light. Actually replicating every wavelength of light emitted by the sun would take about 250 MW of power.

"Alternatively, we could cloak only the atmospheric signatures associated with biological activity, such as oxygen, which is achievable with a peak laser power of just 160 kW per transit. To another civilization, this should make the Earth appear as if life never took hold on our world," Teachey said in a statement.

This assumes, of course, that the aliens in question haven't already figured out more sophisticated (or just very different) methods for detecting a planet's habitability. It's possible that they'd catch on to our little laser show pretty quickly.

[Looking for alien civilizations? Check these star clusters, scientists say.]
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