NPR] On Aug. 15, the news broke that a Russian radio telescope detected strong signals from outer space.
signals allegedly originated from a star 95 light-years from Earth.
Just to clarify, this means that the signal would have left the star or,
potentially, an orbiting planet, 95 years ago. Radio waves — as do any
electromagnetic wave including visible light — travel in empty space at
the speed of light, about 186,000 miles per second. You blink your eyes
and light goes seven and a half times around the Earth.
signal was detected last year but only made public last month.
Scientists from the RATAN-600 radio antenna in Zelenchukskaya were
cautious, but still believed the source deserved permanent monitoring.
The signal seems to be isotropic, that is, beamed with the same power in
all directions. For this to happen, and assuming it came from an
intelligent source, the responsible civilization would have to be a Kardashev Type II,
a kind of civilization with a technology way more advanced than our
own. We are still a Kardashev Type I, capable of harnessing the energy
that reaches us from our star (the sun). A Type II is capable of
harnessing the energy of the entire star, for example, by
encompassing the whole star with a device that can efficiently absorb a
large fraction of its enormous radiation. Read More