Using laser beams, we can hide from prying alien eyes.
Science fiction meets reality once again as scientists are proposing the building of a cloaking device made from lasers, that could hide the planet from the prying eyes of other-worldly civilizations searching the universe for intelligent life.
An article on Popular Science says two astronomers from Columbia University have devised a method of using lasers to cover our tracks, so to speak, as the Earth passes in front of the Sun, one of the ways we use to look for Earth-like planets in our own searches.
Using the Kepler space telescope, we have discovered thousands of exoplanets by observing their shadows as they orbit in front of their primary star, and by calculating the distance from their star, deciding the planets may just be the right distance to have liquid water. We assume that water is essential for all life, and if a planet contains liquid water, it may also develop some type of life.
Of course, if the life on any of these planets is as advanced as our own, or further advanced, they are probably looking at Earth in the same way. Some scientists are concerned the initial contact with alien life forms may not be as friendly as we would like and could result in devastation or enslavement of the human race, should their technology be much greater than our own.
David Kipping and his co-author have devised a plan as simple of shining a light in the alien’s eyes as we cross the Sun during our orbit. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that, but the idea is to fire a laser beam, with wavelengths of light that replicate the Sun’s, for about 10 hours each year at the precise time, to potentially hide from any alien searchers.
Kipping added you could even go further and make the Earth look like a lifeless world to alien eyes, and it would only cost a few hundred kilowatts of energy to power the device.
If you aren’t concerned about an “Independence Day” type of alien attack, the laser could be used to signal to the other planets that we were here and wanted to talk. Of course, the aliens may be using the same technology to hide from us.
Kipping says he believes it is worth taking a look through the Kepler data for such signals from other worlds that may have already figured it out.