Drake wants to create off-world listening post to listen for alien messages

February 19th, 2010 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 19 (ANI): Frank Drake, the founder of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), has proposed sending a spacecraft to planets orbiting distant stars to overhear alien communications, which would be too faint for telescopes on Earth to detect.

According to a report in New Scientist, Drake wants to take the search for aliens about 82 billion kilometres away.

At this point in space, electromagnetic signals from planets orbiting distant stars would be focused by the gravitational lensing effect of our sun, making them, in theory, more easily detected.

Drake wants to send spacecraft there in a bid to overhear alien communications, which would be too faint for telescopes on Earth to detect.

It’s neither a new or original idea, but it has never taken off because of the distances involved.

With existing propulsion technologies, spacecraft would take hundreds of years to make the voyage, which is about 550 times the distance from Earth to the sun.

Gravitational lenses could also be used to transmit signals, amplifying them so they could travel further and potentially reach distant civilizations.

It’s also possible that intelligent civilizations have built an intergalactic Internet using such techniques and are just “waiting for us to log on,” Drake said. (ANI)

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