Scientists Offer Plan To Hide Earth From Advanced Space Aliens
Talk about irony. At a time when many astronomers are trying hard to find evidence of alien life, a pair of astronomers at Columbia University are exploring what we might do to keep aliens from finding us.
Professor David M. Kipping and graduate student Alan Teachey say in a new paper that lasers could be used as a sort of cloaking device to conceal our planet from aliens’ prying eyes.
By directing laser beams at star systems where aliens might live at just the right time, the astronomers argue, we could compensate for the slight dimming of light that occurs when the Earth crosses in front of, or transits, the sun. (Any aliens who observed a periodic diminution of starlight from our sun could infer the presence of our planet — just as we have have used transits to detect the presence of exoplanets around other stars.)
“It’s surprisingly feasible to do this, energywise,” Teachey told The Huffington Post. “We could do it this year if we wanted to. We have the technology.”
But why on earth would we want to do this? In fact, the idea of keeping our existence a secret might not be such a silly notion.
Some scientists have expressed concerns that if aliens knew we were here, they might want to come to Earth to plunder our planet’s resources — or worse. Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, for one, has said that an advanced alien civilization might wipe out the human race the way a person might wipe out a colony of ants.
Such concerns have roiled the SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) community in recent years. Some scientists say that, in addition to listening for radio signals —> Read More