Most of the methods for searching for extraterrestrial civilizations are built around the detection of specific electromagnetic radiation.
They are looking for characteristic changes in the luminosity of stars, either their special spectrum, or the simplest – radio waves that differ from natural sources. American physicists proposed to expand the range of instruments used at the expense of gravitational wave detectors.
The notorious Fermi paradox worries not only ufologists and futurologists, but also full-fledged scientists. There are too many indications that life in the universe cannot be a unique earthly phenomenon.
At the same time, until now, humanity has not met a single evidence of other intelligent civilizations. One of the hypotheses is that our tools are not good enough or not properly configured to find them, therefore, it is necessary to come up with new methods.
Or find new ways to use tools already in the arsenal of astrophysicists. For example, gravitational wave observatories. The logic is as follows: if a highly developed civilization wants to travel on the scale of the galaxy, sooner or later it will build a giant or fast spaceship.
Perhaps both huge and fast at the same time. And where there is a large mass, or accelerations up to speeds of units or even tens of percent of the speed of light, there arise fluctuations in space-time. Which we call gravitational waves.
A huge plus of gravitational wave detectors as tools for searching for extraterrestrial civilizations is their field of view. Unlike optical or radio telescopes, which have an extremely narrow “field of view”, gravitational wave detectors “look” at the entire sky at once.
Several physicists from leading American universities and scientific organizations have considered this idea in detail. Their detailed calculations can be found on the portal of preliminary publications (preprints) arXiv.
The calculations in this work show that the most sensitive of the existing gravitational wave detectors – ground-based interferometers LIGO , VIRGO and KAGRA – allow you to detect alien ships within a radius of up to one hundred kiloparsecs from Earth (326,156 light years).
That is, far beyond the Milky Way, whose diameter is only 105.7 thousand light years. True, alien ships should have a mass of about ten Jupiters and accelerate to 10% of the speed of light.
The minimum detection threshold with the available instruments is an object with a mass of approximately Mercury, accelerating to a comparable speed. It will be possible to detect it already within a radius of “only” 32 light years – in the vicinity of the stars closest to the Sun.
A colossal mass of rapidly accelerating ships ( RAMAcraft ) is not a fantastic assumption. Even traveling between neighboring stars within a reasonable amount of time requires huge amounts of working fluid. Nobody canceled Newton’s laws.
And if we are talking about civilizations that can colonize a significant part of the galaxy, then they will most likely need ships that transport entire populations within a lifetime of a few generations.
Alternative modes of transportation like “warp technology” and the Alcubierre Bubble make things easier. The mass of ships built on their basis will also be huge – a few or tens of Jupiterian ones, but the speed of movement is higher.
In addition, the very principle of their work implies the curvature of space-time, and hence the creation of gravitational waves. Such objects should be detectable at even greater distances.
In addition, in the coming years, the creation of even more sensitive gravitational-wave observatories will begin – the space Big Bang Observer and DECIGO . With their help, the search efficiency will increase by an order of magnitude.
But there is a problem: you need to know what to look for. It is likely that human instruments have already recorded traces of alien ships flying across the Milky Way, we just did not distinguish them from natural sources. A whole section of the described scientific work is devoted to methods of data analysis.
It is possible that in the foreseeable future, researchers looking for extraterrestrial civilizations will have incredible amounts of data to study. If the scientific community, of course, agrees with the proposed theses. From the outside, they look more than reasonable.
There’s one last place Planet Nine could be hiding
A study recently submitted to The Astronomical Journal
continues to search for the elusive Planet Nine (also called Planet X),
which is a hypothetical planet that potentially orbits in the outer
reaches of the solar system and well beyond the orbit of the dwarf
The goal of this study, which is available on the pre-print server arXiv,
was to narrow down the possible locations of Planet Nine and holds the
potential to help researchers better understand the makeup of our solar
system, along with its formation and evolutionary processes. So, what
was the motivation behind this study regarding narrowing down the
location of a potential Planet 9?
Dr. Mike Brown, who is a Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of
Astronomy at Caltech and lead author of the study, tells Universe Today,
“We are continuing to try to systematically cover all of the regions of
the sky where we predict Planet Nine to be. Using data from Pan-STARRS
allowed us to cover the largest region to date.”
Pan-STARRS, which stands for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid
Response System, is a collaborative astronomical observation system
located at Haleakala Observatory and operated by the University of
Hawai’i Institute of Astronomy. For the study, the researchers used data
from Data Release 2 (DR2) with the goal of narrowing down the possible
location of Planet Nine based on findings from past studies.
In the end, the team narrowed down possible locations of Planet Nine
by eliminating approximately 78% of possible locations that were
calculated from previous studies. Additionally, the researchers also
provided new estimates for the approximate semimajor axis (measured in
astronomical units, AU) and Earth-mass size of Planet Nine at 500 and
6.6, respectively. So, what are the most significant results from this
study, and what follow-up studies are currently being conducted or
“While I would love to say that the most significant result
was finding Planet Nine, we didn’t,” Dr. Brown tells Universe Today. “So
instead, it means that we have significantly narrowed the search area.
We’ve now surveyed approximately 80% of the regions where we think
Planet Nine might be.”
In terms of follow-up studies, Dr.
Brown tells Universe Today, “I think that the LSST is the most likely
survey to find Planet Nine. When it comes online in a year or two it
will quickly cover much of the search space and, if Planet Nine is
there, find it.”
LSST stands for Legacy Survey of Space and Time, and is an
astronomical survey currently scheduled as a 10-year program to study
the southern sky and take place at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in
Chile, which is presently under construction.
Objectives for LSST include studying identifying near-Earth asteroids
(NEAs) and small planetary bodies within our solar system, but also
include deep space studies, as well. These include investigating the
properties of dark matter and dark energy and the evolution of the Milky
Way galaxy. But what is the importance of finding Planet Nine?
Dr. Brown tells Universe Today, “This would be the 5th
largest planet of our solar system and the only one with a mass between
Earth and Uranus. Such planets are common around other stars, and we
would suddenly have a chance to study one in our own solar system.”
Scientists began hypothesizing the existence of Planet Nine shortly
after the discovery of Neptune in 1846, including an 1880 memoir
authored by D. Kirkwood and later a 1946 paper authored by American
astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh, who was responsible for discovering Pluto in
More recent studies include studies from 2016 and 2017 presenting
evidence for the existence of Planet Nine, the former of which was
co-authored by Dr. Brown.
This most recent study marks the
most complete investigation of narrowing down the location of Planet
Nine, which Dr. Brown has long-believed exists, telling Universe Today,
“There are too many separate signs that Planet Nine is there. The solar
system is very difficult to understand without Planet Nine.”
He continues by telling Universe Today that “…Planet Nine explains
many things about orbits of objects in the outer solar system that would
be otherwise unexplainable and would each need some sort of separate
“The cluster of the directions of the orbits is the best know, but
there is also the large perihelion distances of many objects, existence
of highly inclined and even retrograde objects, and the high abundance
of very eccentric orbits which cross inside the orbit of Neptune. None
of these should happen in the solar system, but all are easily
explainable as an effect of Planet Nine.”
Michael E. Brown et al, A Pan-STARRS1 Search for Planet Nine, arXiv (2024). DOI: 10.48550/arxiv.2401.17977
‘October Surprise’: Russia To Launch Nukes in Space
The ‘national security threat’ announced on Wednesday is
about Russia planning to launch nuclear weapons in space, causing some
to speculate whether it’s really an election year ploy.
The panic began when House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Turner
(R-Ohio) asked President Biden to declassify information about a
“serious national security threat”.
Modernity.news reports: The weapon would reportedly be designed to be used to take out satellites.
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) responded by telling reporters he wanted “to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm.”
The big, scary threat is serious business and involves a space-based nuke controlled by evil dictator Putin, but it’s also “not an immediate crisis,” according to what three members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee have told Politico.
Okay, then. Just for election season, is it?
Zero Hedge reports: “So, the question is – was this:
a) a distraction from Biden’s broken brain, or
2) a last desperate attempt to get more funding for anything-but-the-US-border, or
iii) a path to pitching Putin as the uber-bad-guy again after his interview with Tucker Carlson.”
Just by coincidence, Mike Turner recently returned from Ukraine having lobbied for billions more in weapons and aid for Zelensky’s government.
Some questioned the timing, suggesting it might all be a deep state plot to keep American voters afraid when they hit the ballot box.
Speculation will now rage as to whether this is “the event,” real or imagined, that billionaires and elitists the world over have been building underground survival bunkers in preparation for.
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