Sunday, 17 February 2008

Do Aliens dream of Alien sheep?

In the xkcd blag there has been an interesting post about detecting alien life. Here come my two cents:
Our bloody telescopes are not powerful enough! They are only capable to detect signals emitted directly to us!
According to the sci.astro.6.FAQ, our TV signals are only detectable within 0.3 light-years by the the equivalent of an Arecibo Telescope. Even if we manage to make a telescope 100 times more powerful than Arecibo, since non-directed radio signals are lost proportionally to the distance squared, we could only receive a TV signal emitted within 3 light-years. As every fifth grader knows (most probably not the other participants in the show), there is no star in that range.
And if you think about directed signals, isn't a bit optimistic to assume that you'll detect something, after you multiply all factors in Drake's equation and then multiply again by the probability of being listening at exactly the right time in the right direction?

And that's why we haven't seen Melmacian Idol or Wookie Inventor.

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3 comments:

Aileen Apolo said...

I am quite scared of aliens! It's probably because of all the alien movies I watched when I was a kid. But it's an interesting thought... do they live like us? Are they better beings or not? Well, that's assuming that aliens exist. And that I really don't want to know.

PPC said...

We have made contact with aliens. The Government is keeping it a secret! Didn't you watch the x-files :)

ppc consultant said...

What really annoys me is that some people dont even thin aliens exist! How arrogant to think we are the only intelligent life in the universe!