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Could aliens be using supernovae explosions to get our attention ?

By T.K. Randall
February 19, 2024 · Comment icon 25 comments

Supernovae are major cosmic events. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
Astronomers have been exploring whether these huge stellar explosions could be acting as deep space beacons.
If there really are intelligent alien civilizations out there who want to communicate with us over vast distances, how exactly might they go about doing that ?

Assuming that they are unable to actually visit us directly and cannot send signals that travel faster than light, their options for getting in touch might seem just as limited as our own.

To find a way around this, astronomers at SETI have been looking for the cosmic equivalent of what are known as Schelling points - places where both parties might focus their efforts to communicate.

One example of a Schelling point here on Earth might be the entrance to a mall, a place where two people who got separated while shopping might go to realistically expect to find one another.
In astronomy, an equivalent of this might be a supernova - an event so big, bright and unmissable that if anyone wanted to get our attention, it would be reasonable to assume that we would be looking in its direction.

Recently, astronomers from the Berkeley SETI Research Center, the University of Washington and the SETI Institute set out to scour the heavens for signs of alien technosignatures (or any sort of visible extraterrestrial beacon) within the vicinity of the supernova SN 1987A.

Their search sadly came up empty, but the premise of such a search still stands.

"This is a great demonstration of how we can prioritize our search efforts by considering what sorts of synchronization schemes other species might employ to get our attention," astronomer Jason Wright of the Penn State Extraterrestrial Intelligence Center told Gizmodo.

"It's a big sky, and anything we can do to narrow down our search space can only help the search for extraterrestrial technological species."

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (25)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #16 Posted by Razman 2 months ago
Even then , what are they going to do with something that could be light years across?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Alex_Rogan 2 months ago
well... you see, it wasn't a supernova. It happened a long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. It was the planet Alderaan exploding after the Death Star went fully operational.
Comment icon #18 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 months ago
An intriguing hypothesis indeed! The idea of God as an alien race blowing up stars to send powerful messages coukd be hinted in historical events like the shining Star of Bethlehem during the birth of Jesus. Also, God making references to "us" and his hierarchy frequently, not to mention the intriguing part of the Genesis which says we were created after his image. So if we can add this layer of interpretation of the religious narration, the point is valid.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Electric Scooter 2 months ago
What is the point of interstellar communication at light speed?
Comment icon #20 Posted by Kenemet 2 months ago
Mammals that they don't even know exist.  Just set off a kaboom and ... someone notices it?  Someone you can't communicate with and who is too far away to communicate with? Yeah.  Sounds legit.  (not)
Comment icon #21 Posted by L.A.T.1961 2 months ago
Someone did not pay their electric bill. 
Comment icon #22 Posted by Jon the frog 2 months ago
Why they would want to communicate with us ? We are bloody uncivilized worms.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Jon the frog 2 months ago
That's mothman that bigfoot crushed with a rock.on a wall. Was buzzing arround the damn campfire.
Comment icon #24 Posted by astrobeing 2 months ago
How about them solar flares? They say they're natural but why not aliens? ?
Comment icon #25 Posted by CigaretteSmokingMan 1 month ago

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