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Researchers need to use lasers to contact aliens and assist them to Earth

Scientists want to build a laser that could lead to extraterrestrial civilization and bring them to Earth.

The humanity could theoretically build an infrared laser that could be both hot and bright enough to attract the attention of intelligent civilizations. James Clark, the study's lead author, believes it would "certainly attract attention."

"This would be a challenging project but not an impossible one," Clark said in a statement. Astronomer could take one look at our star and immediately see something unusual about its spectrum. I do not know if intelligent creatures around the sun would be their first guess, but it would certainly attract further attention. "

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The study, which has been published in The Astrophysical JournalIt would be possible to make sure that it does not come with current methods and technology, but advances in the coming years.

"While the probability of closing a handshake with a near-term surveyor's methodology, advances in full-sky surveys for SETI and other may reduce the mean-time-to-handshake to decades or centuries, after which laser systems may close links at kbps-Mpbs, "the study's abstract reads. "The next major gap to address for extraterrestrial lasers is in expanding spectral scans into the infrared, where most terrestrial communication and high-power lasers are manufactured."

The research suggests that a laser, 1 to 2 megawatts in strength and coming from a telescope at least 100 feet in length, could be made into the attention of civilizations as far as 20,000 light years from Earth.

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"If we were to succeed in a handshake and start to communicate, we could flash a message, at a data rate of about a few hundred bits per second, which would be there in just a few years," Clark added in the statement.

20,000 light-years away, there are inherent safety issues, Clark said, including the inherent power created by the laser
(a flux density of about 800 watts of power per square meter, which is near the Sun) and the prospect of the beam damaging people's vision.

"If you wanted to build this thing on the far side of the moon where no one's living or orbiting much, then that could be a safer place for it," Clark added. "In general, this was a feasibility study. Whether or not this is a good idea, that's a discussion for future work. "

Ultimately, Clark and the study's co-author, Kerri Cahoy, believe that a telescopic beacon could help contact them.

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"With current survey methods and instruments, it is unlikely that we would actually be lucky enough to image a beacon flash, assuming that extraterrestrials exist and are making them," Clark noted. "However, as the infrared spectra of exoplanets are being examined for the viability of life, and as full-sky surveys are becoming more and more rapid, we can not be more certain, if E.T. is phoning, we want to detect it. "

What could go wrong?

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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