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Could aliens use a nearby supernova explosion to get our attention ?

By T.K. Randall
June 24, 2023 · Comment icon 11 comments

Artist's impression of a supernova. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
SETI astronomers are looking for signs of extraterrestrial communications within the vicinity of a large stellar explosion.
It's one of the most destructive events in the known universe - the demise of a supergiant star in the form of a colossal explosion of cosmic proportions - but what if such an event could prove to be an opportunity for someone in a far off part of our galaxy to get our attention ?

This is a theory currently being explored by astronomers at the SETI Institute who are investigating whether or not a nearby supernova - SN 2023ixf - could be acting as a beacon of sorts, providing the perfect moment for members of a distant alien civilization to attempt to communicate by taking advantage of the fact that we are likely to be looking in that direction.
Efforts are now underway to look for potentially habitable worlds in that particular part of the sky and this will then be followed up by several months of observations using the Allen Telescope Array in California and the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia to look for signs of alien technosignatures.

Of course, the likelihood of finding something is slim - even if someone was there, it would take some impressive calculations to time a signal to coincide with when we would see the light from the supernova.

That said, it is not outside the realm of possibility that a sufficiently advanced alien civilization could pull off such a stunt.

Source: Live Science | Comments (11)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by josellama2000 1 year ago
now way, a supernova is not big enough to get our attention. We are busy dealing with our ego which is bigger than a cluster of galaxies.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Portre 1 year ago
"...it is not outside the realm of possibility that a sufficiently advanced alien civilization could pull off such a stunt." Yes, it is. How would an alien civilization know which point from within a sphere to direct their message (assuming the aliens aren't so close to the supernova that they were fried)?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Kenemet 1 year ago
So they set off an explosion, wait 700 (or more) years for the explosion to reach Earth... and how do they know we'd have adequate detection equipment at that time?  We could have all died off in that time.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Trelane 1 year ago
Comment icon #6 Posted by Roshman 1 year ago
Timing is everything. How long has life existed on Earth?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Unusual Tournament 1 year ago
The answer from me is an unequivocal YES!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Unusual Tournament 1 year ago
Maybe they’re targeting all possible life and not just earth. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Trelane 1 year ago
An entertaining piece but nothing to be taken seriously. @Kenemetsummarized it nicely above. More science fantasy and conjecture to get those clicks and views.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Cho Jinn 1 year ago
Sigh.  First, the article doesn't say that aliens are inducing supernovae.  Second, while the (not-proposed) prospect is dubious, why do you think they would "set it off" just to get the attention from something on Earth, or any particular location?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Raptor Witness 1 year ago
  Best post of the week, so far ...

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