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Old 08-10-2016, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,834 posts, read 4,535,449 times
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Here's my take on it.

Let's suppose there are aliens far beyond us in technology who are building a Dyson sphere around the star. Or rather, were 1500 years ago -- and they're still around without having succumbed to a natural disaster or blowing themselves up. Let's further suppose that there are no magic solutions like wormholes, subspace communication, or warp drives. When they built the Dyson sphere, the western Roman Empire had collapsed under the onslaught of barbarian invaders. The Industrial Revolution was 1200 years in the future. Given where we're at with deep space observation, they probably could identify the signatures of life on Earth but probably not intelligent life -- the impact of Earth cultures on things like atmospheric gases and particulates would likely be impossible to distinguish from forest fires and other natural phenomena. That wouldn't happen until they observe the first radio transmissions from Earth -- but that won't be for another 1400 years more or less.

If life is fairly common, Sol might be just one star among many in the neighborhood that would show signatures of life. If FTL travel is impossible, they would have little incentive to single out our system among all the others for an expensive centuries-long trip that may or may not bear fruit.

On the other hand, if they're advanced enough to build a Dyson sphere they'd be able to build gigantic fleets of telescopes that would function as mirrors the size of a planet and that could resolve things on Earth like the Great Wall of China. However, even if they did, they wouldn't see our current state of technological advancement for another 1500 years because of the speed of light limit.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:31 PM
 
Location: PRC
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Quote:
On the other hand, if they're advanced enough to build a Dyson sphere they'd be able to build gigantic fleets of telescopes that would function as mirrors the size of a planet and that could resolve things on Earth like the Great Wall of China. However, even if they did, they wouldn't see our current state of technological advancement for another 1500 years because of the speed of light limit.
It probably depends on their level of evolution. I can imagine a civilisation being able to bend space and zip to other stars easily. After all, there have been people who report visits from non-Earthly craft so maybe this is our neighbours coming to check us out?

I think it is highly likely that we will develop FTL travel in the next century or so, so any civilisation which has been going for tens of thousands of years should have that too and more.

I also think we should heed the warnings of those who suggest we keep our heads down and dont attract attention to ourselves. Not all civilisations evolve into a nice friendly race and that maybe our end point, or at least the start of hopeless slavery.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
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Imagine how confusing porch lights are to insects.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Houston
5,623 posts, read 3,106,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
Here's my take on it.

Let's suppose there are aliens far beyond us in technology who are building a Dyson sphere around the star. Or rather, were 1500 years ago -- and they're still around without having succumbed to a natural disaster or blowing themselves up. Let's further suppose that there are no magic solutions like wormholes, subspace communication, or warp drives. When they built the Dyson sphere, the western Roman Empire had collapsed under the onslaught of barbarian invaders. The Industrial Revolution was 1200 years in the future. Given where we're at with deep space observation, they probably could identify the signatures of life on Earth but probably not intelligent life -- the impact of Earth cultures on things like atmospheric gases and particulates would likely be impossible to distinguish from forest fires and other natural phenomena. That wouldn't happen until they observe the first radio transmissions from Earth -- but that won't be for another 1400 years more or less.

If life is fairly common, Sol might be just one star among many in the neighborhood that would show signatures of life. If FTL travel is impossible, they would have little incentive to single out our system among all the others for an expensive centuries-long trip that may or may not bear fruit.

On the other hand, if they're advanced enough to build a Dyson sphere they'd be able to build gigantic fleets of telescopes that would function as mirrors the size of a planet and that could resolve things on Earth like the Great Wall of China. However, even if they did, they wouldn't see our current state of technological advancement for another 1500 years because of the speed of light limit.

Agreed. I hadn't thought of that. It would be another 1500 or so years before they picked up any radio signal from us.

If we could make THIS work, we could conceivably have some sort of interaction with them. I read a paper once that referenced using this drive to get to Alpha Centauri in around 2 weeks. I did the math and found it would get us to KIC 8462852 in roughly 14 years. Who knows though if this will ever be reality.

Last edited by ahzzie; 08-11-2016 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:22 PM
 
1,104 posts, read 734,066 times
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Damn offshore megastructures. Clearly there to avoid paying tax. Get a life you freeloaders!
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahzzie View Post
Agreed. I hadn't thought of that. It would be another 1500 or so years before they picked up any radio signal from us.

If we could make THIS work, we could conceivably have some sort of interaction with them. I read a paper once that referenced using this drive to get to Alpha Centauri in around 2 weeks. I did the math and found it would get us to KIC 8462852 in roughly 14 years. Who knows though if this will ever be reality.
My opinion is that once something is NAMED and defined ("Warp Drive"), it then becomes probable that it will exist sooner or later.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Coastal Mid-Atlantic
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I remember the Twilight Zone episode where the aliens come to earth and tell us they want to help us with all of our problems we have here on earth. They have unlimited energy, food and easier life. Just have to go to their planet. People by the thousands board their ships to go to their planet to live. The aliens bring a book with them, and on the cover of the book it says "To Serve Man". Waaaay to late, some one here decodes the book. Its a cook book!
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by MikeBear View Post
My opinion is that once something is NAMED and defined ("Warp Drive"), it then becomes probable that it will exist sooner or later.
Philosopher David Lewis would agree with you:

David Lewis: Modal Realism
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
5,834 posts, read 4,535,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahzzie View Post
If we could make THIS work, we could conceivably have some sort of interaction with them. I read a paper once that referenced using this drive to get to Alpha Centauri in around 2 weeks. I did the math and found it would get us to KIC 8462852 in roughly 14 years. Who knows though if this will ever be reality.
It turns out the amount of energy needed to fuel the Alcubierre Drive isn't as ridiculous as first thought. See:

Warp Drive More Possible Than Thought, Scientists Say

I'm not expecting anything in my lifetime, though.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Houston
5,623 posts, read 3,106,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
It turns out the amount of energy needed to fuel the Alcubierre Drive isn't as ridiculous as first thought. See:

Warp Drive More Possible Than Thought, Scientists Say

I'm not expecting anything in my lifetime, though.
That sounds promising indeed. Thanks for sharing that. If this is something that's truly within our reach then it must be known to any other civilization that's older than ours. If that is the case then it begs the question: why haven't we been visited by extraterrestrials? Aside from the anecdotal evidence presented in the last few decades, there's really nothing that indicates we have been.

Maybe intelligent life is very rare in the cosmos. Or maybe the distances between advanced civilizations is so great that even using the Alcubierre Drive is impractical. Maybe there's a point where all civilizations cease to exist and we've just missed them by a few million years. Too much to think about on a Friday afternoon!
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