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How easily could aliens detect radio signal leakage from Earth ?

By T.K. Randall
May 3, 2023 · Comment icon 8 comments

Could an alien civilization pick up our signals ? Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 Stewart Duff, CSIRO
A new study has aimed to determine whether Earth's radio and mobile tower signals could be picked up from other worlds.
It's no secret that we've been broadcasting radio signals out into space for many decades now, whether intentionally as part of SETI, for example, or unintentionally via signal leakage.

The question is - if an advanced alien civilization living around a nearby star happened to be looking in our direction, would it be possible for them to determine that we are here ?

To find out, researchers from Mauritius and Manchester University used crowd-sourced data to simulate the leakage of radio and mobile signals and to determine whether or not it would be possible to detect these from various nearby worlds and star systems.
The answer, it turns out, is that it would probably be quite difficult to pick up the signals without a very advanced receiver, but that as our own technology improves, the signals we are sending out will become stronger and thus easier to detect.

"I've heard many colleagues suggest that the Earth has become increasingly radio quiet in recent years -- a claim that I always contested -- although it's true we have fewer powerful TV and radio transmitters today, the proliferation of mobile communication systems around the world is profound," said team leader Professor Mike Garrett.

"While each system represents relatively low radio powers individually, the integrated spectrum of billions of these devices is substantial."

Source: Science Daily | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hawken 12 months ago
We've only managed to land on the moon and send out probes into space. It took the Voyagers 40+ years to breech our solar system. It's kind of humbling compared to the vastness of the universe.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Skulduggery 12 months ago
Comment icon #3 Posted by godnodog 12 months ago
pretty sure advanced civilizations out there can detect us in multiple ways, our atmosphere alone is a red flag.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Zebra3 12 months ago
Comment icon #5 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
I think we would be found as interesting but likely nothing more than a surface nuisance. Such an advanced civilization might be looking at the planet in totality. Not just humans.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Dejarma 11 months ago
to me that's bleeding obvious
Comment icon #7 Posted by Unusual Tournament 11 months ago
Hard to say. We might be unique in biology or chemistry. Being socially isolated, might make us an anthropological case study. They might be a similar species and view us as a primitive and pristine canvas to develop. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Unusual Tournament 11 months ago
Interesting that you say that. The same way we send out drones and probes might just be the same way they’re making contact with us. Maybe all these UFO/UAP’s we see are just probes and drones covering great distances in space and time with cyborgs or AI to send back intelligence. Maybe for all their technological advances they can’t get to us. 

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