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Can we detect the gravitational waves produced by alien ships ?

By T.K. Randall
December 19, 2022 · Comment icon 78 comments

Detecting distant alien vessels might actually be possible. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Alorin
A team of physicists has put forward the idea of using the LIGO observatory to look for gravitational waves from alien spaceships.
Originally proposed by Albert Einstein as a consequence of his General Theory of Relativity, gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time that carry energy across the universe.

After years of struggling to pick up direct evidence of the phenomenon, a team of researchers at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) finally succeeded in detecting gravitational waves for the first time back in February 2016.

So impressive was this feat that the team behind the breakthrough, Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne, earned themselves a Nobel Prize in physics the following year.

Fast-forward to the present day and now a different team of physicists has published a new paper suggesting that LIGO's ability to detect gravitational waves could potentially enable us to pick up indications of alien vessels in deep space.
That said, for this to work the ship would have to be truly massive - perhaps the size of Jupiter - as well as moving very quickly and relatively close to us (within 326,000 light-years).

But what if our closest neighboring extraterrestrial civilization happens to be using warp drive or something similarly exotic to propel its ships through the interstellar void ?

According to the paper, such a propulsion system should (in theory, at least) produce gravitational waves as well.

In summary, then, if a warp-enabled Death Star ever ventures inside our galactic neighborhood, there's a small chance that we might be able to pick it up...

Source: | Comments (78)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #69 Posted by Hammerclaw 12 months ago
Who said visiting? There could be a vast fleet of world-ships, a mobile civilization, camped out in our Oort Cloud, mining resources. In the long term, stars are dangerous and truly advanced civilizations, tens of millions of years old, might choose to not be wed to any star. Wild biomes like Earth's could be considered biohazards and avoided.
Comment icon #70 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 12 months ago
Thanks for your thoughts, they are very refreshing!
Comment icon #71 Posted by lightly 11 months ago
I’ve been thinking about the idea that the universe is expanding at Every Point…(everywhere)… isn’t that the same as saying the universe exists/expands at One point?   So,  ‘everywhere’ is One point. ?       Yes, it is saying the exact same thing.  So, never mind. …  no, really,  what do you all think of that idea?       And also ,if everywhere is one point , expansion must be equally outward…and…inward!?       
Comment icon #72 Posted by Ell 11 months ago
The universe does not expand.
Comment icon #73 Posted by lightly 11 months ago
I’ll bite.   So what is the reason so many scientists think it is expanding?  What’s really going on?
Comment icon #74 Posted by Ell 11 months ago
They are bound by paradigm. They cannot think out of the box. They have no clue.
Comment icon #75 Posted by Abramelin 11 months ago
These scientists are all obese, and are just 'projecting'.
Comment icon #76 Posted by joc 11 months ago
Thanks for saying that.  The idea of expansion has always bothered me.  Expanding into what?  If the universe is expanding then it means it has a boundary at some point and beyond that boundary is...what?  Certainly not the Universe...and if all that exists is the universe...then what is beyond the boundary of the  universe?  None of it makes any sense.   The only way expansion makes sense is in the context of the Big Bang.  Which, doesn't really make any sense either.  From a single point all that is came to be?  The only way that makes sense is the eruption of an Black Hole that s... [More]
Comment icon #77 Posted by Ell 11 months ago
It does have a boundary. Its boundary is everywhere, Indeed, on the other side of the boundary is not-the-universe, or one might say the other part of reality, or one might say the other part of God. There is communication across the boundary: unidirectional spiritual communication one way; unidirectional accidental opportunities, if possible, the other way.   A perpetuum mobile. The Moebius loop is a perpetuum mobile. The universe might be comparable to a Moebius loop, I imagine.
Comment icon #78 Posted by lightly 11 months ago
        That’s another fairly popular idea… to me, it is no more understandable than any other. Möbius strip           More images Deion In mathematics, a Möbius strip, Möbius band, or Möbius loop is a surface that can be formed by attaching the ends of a strip of paper together with a half-twist. Wikipedia Dimensions: two-dimensional

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