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Wed Mar 24, 2021, 05:26 PM

Gravitational Lenses Could Allow a Galaxy-Wide Internet


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Universe Today
@universetoday
Gravitational Lenses Could Allow a Galaxy-Wide Internet:

https://universetoday.com/150671/gravitational-lenses-could-allow-a-galaxy-wide-internet/… by @BrianKoberlein



Snip

Radio signals are a good choice for interstellar distances because they can transmit a good amount of data at relatively low power. This is why we use radio for interplanetary communication. The downside is that because radio waves have a long wavelength, they are difficult to focus in a single direction. We can point a narrow beam of laser light at a particular star, but we can’t easily focus a narrow beam of radio light. And our radio signals will need to be focused to carry across light-years.

This new study looks at how radio signals could be focused by the Sun or nearby stars. Since stars gravitationally warp the space around them, light passing near a star can be gravitationally lensed. This effect can be used to focus radio light similar to the way a glass lens focuses optical light. In this new paper, Claudio Maccone did some basic calculations of the kind of bandwidth one could get between the Sun and nearby stars such as Alpha Centauri and Barnard’s Star. The data rate could be on the order of kilobits/second, which is on the order of the old dial-up days of the Internet. Not great by modern standards, but certainly enough to transmit useful images and data from another star.

Reference: Maccone, Claudio. “Galactic Internet made possible by star gravitational lensing.” Acta Astronautica 82.2 (2013): 246-250.

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 05:30 PM

1. I would not call either lasers or radio a good choices for interstellar communication.

The only choices currently known? Sure.
Good? Not so much.

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 05:42 PM

2. As Mr. Spock might say, "Fascinating"

Focusing radio waves through gravitational lensing is brilliantly clever and creative!

There's one fundamental problem with this idea, however.

Radio waves, like everything in the electro-magnetic spectrum, travel at the speed of light. If you're on Mars, for example, it will take your internet request 12 minutes on average to reach Earth, then .0325 seconds for Google to respond(!) and then another 12 minutes to get back to you. Talk about a buffering delay!

Obviously, the further from Earth one travels, the longer it takes a signal to make a one-way trip. For example, Voyager 2 has left our Solar System's heliosphere and is something like 12 billion miles from Earth. It takes 17 hours for a one-way transmission (I think) and double for a "conversation."

To send a message via radio waves to Alpha Proxima would take more than 4 years for a one-way transmission. It's not really a very efficient communication method. Of course, at this time we don't have any alternatives.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:27 PM

8. Time to discover subspace!

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 05:46 PM

3. Emails from the galaxy...

Emails from the galaxy...

The warranty on your spaceship has expired.

Enlarge the genital of your specie's choice.

Save our galaxy. Donate to Donald Trump, not those Martian failures.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:21 PM

6. Your windows computer has a virus.

The IRS needs immediate payment or the sheriff will arrest you.

A Nigerian prince needs to deposit 10 million space credits in your account.

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 05:50 PM

4. Unfortunately there is still no solution for the latency of signal send time vs. receipt time

So it's really only useful for one-way communication. Although signals travel at the speed of light, one-way transmission of info to the nearest stars would still take years. And getting a response doubles that time.

I see PJMcK already addressed this. Still... this aspect of space and time sucks.

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:15 PM

5. I'll be interested when I can send a picture of my cat to the Magellanic clouds. n/t.

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:26 PM

7. Good idea if you're only interested in old news.

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Response to LastDemocratInSC (Reply #7)


Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:29 PM

10. Is your star old and bloated?

Try our new Rejuvestar treatment today.

With Rejuvestar, your star will look like it's only a billion years old.

Call now while supplies last.


*Rejuvestar may not work on all stars
** Side effects include: Black hole syndrome, exploding supernova, joint pain, and Shingles.

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:33 PM

11. There are many that believe we are much better off NOT revealing our presence in the cosmos.

Some speculate that sterilizing our blue dot would be the choice of an extraterrestrial civilization.

It's a bummer I know, but we should think long and hard about it.

Stephen Hawking has said that contacting other worlds could be a lethal mistake.

It could very well be that the Fermi Paradox is really just intelligent life not making itself known on purpose.

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Response to Vinnie From Indy (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 06:37 PM

12. But other civilizations might *enjoy* the dial-up speed LOL cats

...we’d be sending across the galaxy

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 07:22 PM

14. ...

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 07:20 PM

13. ...

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 24, 2021, 07:37 PM

15. That checks out

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Response to soothsayer (Original post)

Sun Mar 28, 2021, 08:20 PM

16. Good signal but the latency sucks.

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