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The Voyager update project
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    The Voyager update project
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    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From chris107's personal cargo

    Technical info on EM radiation, and possible contacts
    Project: The Voyager update project
    Basically all electromagnetic waves (EM) travel at the speed of light c (~ 670 million miles/hour). It takes roughly 1.2 seconds for a ray of light to travel from the Earth to the Moon. This means that pretty much any type of radiation humans can emit or modify, whether it is light, radio-waves, microwaves, cosmic background radiation, x-rays, or gamma rays, it will travel at the speed of light.



    The distance that a particular wave can travel while retaining its integrity is variable depending on the power that it is broadcast or beamed with. The common notion that episodes of Leave it to beaver or Matlock are out there in space forever, to be discovered by Ignignoc and his alien friends 500 light years from now is largely an exaggeration. The intensity with which most TV and Radio programs are broadcast would allow them to travel a cosmic distance about as far as Neptune's orbit before the signal degraded to unintelligible static. Furthermore, most if not all of these programs are broadcast with omni-directional antennas that are designed to distribute signals in multiple directions to reach a large number of people.



    To reach beyond the "Neptune Barrier", a signal would have to be transmitted in a uni-directional fashion, allowing for a far more concentrated signal. However as desired range increases, the power needed to transmit waves grows exponentially. The "inverse-square law" of physics states that intensity is decreased by the square of the distance from the source of the signal. This means that if a source such as cosmic background radiation is propagating to a certain distance, if I were to double the distance between source and target, the propagation would be only one quarter as intense.

    In any case, while the speed of light is very fast by Earthbound standards, Electromagnetic Radiation emitted from the Earth would still take tens, hundreds, or even thousands of Earth years to reach potential systems with life if it were traveling at the speed of light. These are some of the most promising nearby stars, and are being targeted by SETI with the Allen Telescope Array and NASA's TPF (Terrestrial Planet Finder).



    Beta Canum Venaticorum is a Sun-like star about 26 light years away in the constellation Canes Venatici. HD10307 is a near replica of the Sun but with a companion star. Located about 42 light-years away, this star has almost the same mass, temperature and metal-content as the Sun. Epsilon Indi A is only about one-tenth as bright as the Sun and about 11.8 light-years away in the constellation Indus. Epsilon Eridani is a bit smaller and cooler than our Sun; it is located about 10.5 light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. Omicron2 Eridani is a yellow-orange star about 16 light-years away that is roughly the same age as our Sun. Alpha Centauri B is a triple star system is located just 4.35 light-years away and one of the Sun's closest stellar neighbors.



    Mon, Feb 4, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: lighthouse
    Sent to project: The Voyager update project
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