Feeds

Astroboffins moot massive Moon-mirror heliograph

How to catch ET's eye

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A pair of US astrobiologists have come up with a cunningly simply way of attracting the attention of alien lifeforms - just cover half the Moon's surface with mirrors to throw back some extra sunlight in ET's direction.

According to New Scientist, Shawn Domagal-Goldman and Jacob Haqq-Misra of Pennsylvania State University in State College reckon the Moon-mirror could act as a kind of heliograph to beam a "code of prime number flashes" - just so distant beings fully get the message.

As an added bonus, when the mirrors aren't chatting to the universe, they could be "flipped" to present photovoltaic cells sunwards, generating electricity for microwave dispatch back to Earth.

Domagal-Goldman, who outlined the plan to the recent 2008 Astrobiology Science Conference in Santa Clara, California, said: "You could help solve the climate crisis, too."

Sorted. We can't help feeling though, that the fatal flaw in this scheme is how to protect delicate lunar mirror/solar panel installations from apocalyptic dwarf star impact.

Doubtless the lads have a parabolic collector solar death ray weapon in mind for this eventuality, one which doubles as the world's largest eco-friendly barbecue when not fending off hostile bodies. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.