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Alien Civilizations Might Be So Advanced That They Might Use Black Holes To Power Their Spaceships

by Erin VanDyke                 March 10, 2019                 (canadianhomesteading.ca)

• In a 1975 novel, Imperial Earth, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke first put forward the idea of advanced alien civilizations utilizing a black hole-powered spacecraft. Charles Sheffield presented a similar idea in his 1978 short story, “Killing Vector”.

• Ten years ago, Kansas State University mathematician Dr Louis Crane, and physics grad student Shawn Westmoreland, co-authored a paper entitled, “Are Black Hole Spacecraft Possible?” which explored the possibility of using the Hawking radiation emitted by an artificial black hole.

• Dr Crane has now authored a new study entitled “Searching for Extraterrestrial Civilizations Using Gamma-Ray Telescopes” suggesting that spacecraft could be powered by the Hawking radiation from a tiny artificial black hole found by using gamma telescopes, which can also aid in the search for alien civilizations.

 

Scientists are always challenged to think outside the box, but when it came to looking for possible signs of Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (ETI), it was even harder. One conclusion that scientists came upon was that many alien civilizations would be more technologically advanced than humanity since they might be older than us. People (who are) part of the Search for the Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have to consider that the extraterrestrials might be more advanced.

One radical idea would be that spacefaring alien civilizations could harness radiation emitted from black holes (Hawking radiation) to generate the power they need for their spacecraft. Louis Crane decided to build on this, and as a mathematician at Kansas State University (KSU), the researcher recently authored a study that suggests evidence of spacecraft powered by tiny artificial black holes could be found by using gamma telescopes.

“Searching for Extraterrestrial Civilizations Using Gamma-Ray Telescopes,” as the new study was called, is now available online. Dr. Crane had published another paper before on the subject which was co-authored by a physics grad student with KSU, Shawn Westmoreland, titled “Are Black Hole Spacecraft Possible?” and published ten years ago.

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Advanced Extraterrestrials as an Approximation to God

by Abraham Loeb                  January 26, 2019                      (scientificamerican.com)

• The excitement of the scientific enterprise is all about expanding our current knowledge of the universe a little at a time. Learning all at once of the knowledge of an alien civilization with billions of years of scientific and technological exploration would be a shock to the system, and would be difficult to reconcile. As science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke stated: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Put another way, members of such a civilization would appear to us as a pretty good approximation to God.

• A device of advanced alien technology to us, would be like a smart phone to an early human caveman. This could be similar to our mainstream scientist’s reaction to the recent visitor to our solar system, the elongated rocky object known as ‘Oumuamua’. Oumuamua showed six peculiar properties but was nevertheless interpreted as a mere rock. One may wonder whether we are able to recognize technologies that were not developed by us.

• Scientists have considered whether life itself was seeded on Earth by an alien civilization in a process called “directed panspermia.” We can begin to wrap our heads around seeds of life brought to the Earth in the form of microbes, or perhaps a 3-D printer that produced these seeds out of the raw materials on Earth. Our imagination of what aliens might do may improve once we too are able to produce synthetic life in the laboratory.

• If life was seeded artificially on Earth, one may wonder whether the seeders are checking on the outcome. Are they disappointed and have given up on us? The experiment may have failed, or we are simply irresponsible and too slow to mature. Perhaps if we knew that someone is looking over our shoulders, we would do better.

• Our civilization is highly vulnerable to annihilation by self-inflicted wounds, such as nuclear wars or climate change, as well as external threats such as asteroid impacts or evolution of the sun. It would be not be prudent to keep all our eggs in one basket. We should venture into space and seed objects beyond the Earth with life as we know it, thus reducing the risk of complete destruction and securing the longevity of things we care about.

 

Despite the impression one gets from textbooks, our current knowledge of the universe represents a small island in a vast ocean of ignorance. The scientific enterprise is all about expanding the landmass of this island. And it is fun to engage in the activity of gaining knowledge; knowing everything in advance would have been much more boring. Still, it would be shocking to learn all at once of the discoveries of an alien civilization that’s been doing scientific and technological exploration for billions of years, in contrast to our mere few centuries. The eminent science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke codified this idea in the third of his three laws : “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Put another way, members of such a civilization would appear to us as a pretty good approximation to God.

                        Abraham Loeb

Meeting a piece of advanced technological equipment developed by an extraterrestrial intelligence might resemble an imaginary encounter of ancient cave people with a modern cell phone. At first, they would interpret it as a shiny rock, not recognizing it as a communication device. The same thing might have happened in reaction to the first detection of an interstellar visitor to the solar system, ‘Oumuamua, which showed six peculiar properties but was nevertheless interpreted as a rock by mainstream astronomers.

Because it would likely be relatively small, most advanced equipment could only be recognized in the darkness of space when it comes close enough to our nearest lamppost, the sun. We can search for technological “keys” under this lamppost, but most of them will stay unnoticed if they pass far away. More fundamentally, one may wonder whether we are able to recognize technologies that were not already developed by us. After all, these technologies might feature subtle purposes—like the cell phone communication signals that a cave person would miss.

Is there something we might be missing already here and now?

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