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Alien Telescopes, Remote Sensors, and Billion Year Old Civs

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ZenGalacticore

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Considering the past and current advance of humanity's own optical telescopes- since the 16th century- as well as our phenomenal, exponentiating advance in all areas and spectra of remote detection capability in the last mere few decades, isn't it possible that technical civilizations Billions, or even "just" Millions of years more advanced than we don't HAVE to visit us in person? They can simply zoom in on us from 10s, 100s, or even thousands of light-years away without needing to traverse the great interstellar distances of space.

Possibly, that's why they are not 'here'. They can observe us, in better than HD quality, from 'there'. For the same reasons we may do the same one day: Cost. $$$$$!

I personally believe that while 'cost and effort, and, um, sweat of the alien brow' may have some reason to do with why ETI's have not ventured here, a more likely reason is that they don't have to. IOWs, they can learn everything and all they want from their remote sensing technology. They are so advanced, they don't even need to expend the resources to send robotic probes!

Sounds silly? Well, contemplate what it really means for a technical civilization to be one, or even three BILLION YEARS advanced beyond the technological application of Marconi radios, or Hubble or Kepler telescopes.*

*Not much difference there, timewise anyway. Marconi's radio and the Kepler telescope are a paltry, puny, insignificant 110 years apart!

110 years apart.

vs-

3,000,000,000 years ahead of us.

I would think any ancient, technical, super-civilizations out there wouldn't HAVE to physically visit Earth to know what's going on here. Granted, the speed of light is constant, so, if they were 5,000 lys away, they'd be looking at the pharoah Khufu while he was having his pyramid built. (Among other people doing other things, as well as the active planet and system itself.)

But we shouldn't think that, having witnessed through their remote sensing devices Khufu and the ancient Egyptians frenetically building their pyramids, that the ETs would suddenly get a passionate pang-and equally frenetically- make the effort to traverse those 5,000 light-years. They would instead watch, from a distance- with unimaginable clarity and resolution- the spectacle unfold over millennia.

Considering within the next few decades ahead we should be able to actually image tiny, Earthlike planets 10s if not upwards of a 100 light-years away, I see this idea as a very plausible scenario.

They are most likely, to my mind, not physically here. But they may still be watching us, or, at least watching our 'past'.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Wow! 127 views and no replies or thoughts. Did I pee on some cornflakes by suggesting Extra-Terrestrial intelligences need not be in our skies every other Tuesday because they may be able to observe us from afar? :lol:
 
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ArcCentral

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Wow Zen! You can accept that ET can watch us from afar, with HD quality no less, from many light years away at that, something that we have no comprehension of as of yet, but cannot accept that ET has attained light speed travel, something we have no comprehension of as of yet.

Well at least you're closer to thinking outside the box than I thought. :lol:

Why not take it a step further and assume they can watch us in real time, as opposed to waiting for the light to travel thousands of years of void. I mean .... if you're gonna make the jump, why not go head first. :)
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Arc- I didn't consider any alien civilizations millions or billions of years more advanced than we having such remote sensing capabilities as that far of a 'leap'. And I took into account that no matter how far advanced that they would still be subject to the cosmic speed limit of light. :)

And we can comprehend remote imaging and sensing. Remember that Hubble image of Mars a few years ago? If you went back 2,000 years, or heck, just a 130 years and told Percival Lowell that we would one day be able to image distant objects with such resolution he would have been excited but doubtful. (And the ancients would have thought you insane.)

And what is 2,000 years to a million, or ten million years of technical progress? Or the unimaginable 'billion years'. Humans have only been around for a few million years, and in our present form a couple a hundred thousand at most. And our technical civilization is only a few centuries old.

(I think what you meant to say was that "they can attain light-speed, but no way they could have remote sensing high resolution technology) . I understand you were being humorous in stating the apparent contradiction in the two points. :)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

If you are saying that "remote sensing" violates the "speed of light" limit, this topic is destined for the Unexplained.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

MeteorWayne":1nxxizh1 said:
If you are saying that "remote sensing" violates the "speed of light" limit, this topic is destined for the Unexplained.
That's not what I'm saying at all. How did you read that?

I'm saying that if a technical civilization can achieve near light speeds then they can certainly achieve high resolution remote sensing, going by what we've achieved in that field(remote sensing) already after just a few centuries of technical development.

And I thought I made it clear that said hypothetical but plausible aliens would still be subject to the cosmic speed of light limit, and that while they could observe us from say, 200 light years away, they would be seeing us as we were, and Earth as it was, 200 years ago. :|
 
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theta_sigma

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

And don't forget our radio transmissions from telle and such! They might be listening in on the past.
 
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Solifugae

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Don't you need a really really really really big and really really really flawless mirror for seeing little humans walking about from hundreds of light years away? Or can you use lots of small mirrors and combine their power? A swarm of nanobots making up the resolution? Would that work?
 
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ArcCentral

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

(I think what you meant to say was that "they can attain light-speed, but no way they could have remote sensing high resolution technology) . I understand you were being humorous in stating the apparent contradiction in the two points.
What I meant to say was that if you are willing to give an advanced civilization some slack with your remote sensing thoughts, why is it a stretch to consider that ET is visting us every tuesday?
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Solifugae":7t5p3hep said:
Don't you need a really really really really big and really really really flawless mirror for seeing little humans walking about from hundreds of light years away? Or can you use lots of small mirrors and combine their power? A swarm of nanobots making up the resolution? Would that work?
Have you ever pondered what it might mean for a technical civilization to be a million years old? Or 10 million? Or a billion years old? Do you understand what is meant by a 'technical' civilization?

Your question is tantamount to someone in the 18th century asking "Doesn't someone need to be inside the box (television) for you to see them through the glass?

Did you bother to read the OP or the following posts? Do you know what I meant by Marconi's radio? By the Kepler telescope? Do you realize those two inventions and developments are only 110 years apart? I'm assuming that you can grasp the difference between a 110 years, and a million years of technical progress.

It was a speculation and exciting question of a plausible reality. I have no idea what the technology of an alien technical civilization millions of years more advanced than us would look like, do you? Nor do I have an idea of how they might resolve images from 10s, 100s or even thousands of light years distant. But given our own advances in this respect in only a few centuries, that capability is certainly not out of the question for intelligences millions of years ahead of our own.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

ArcCentral":2i78z7zb said:
(I think what you meant to say was that "they can attain light-speed, but no way they could have remote sensing high resolution technology) . I understand you were being humorous in stating the apparent contradiction in the two points.
What I meant to say was that if you are willing to give an advanced civilization some slack with your remote sensing thoughts, why is it a stretch to consider that ET is visting us every tuesday?
How am I giving a hypothetical extra-terrestrial civilization millions of years more advanced than our own 'slack with my remote sensing thoughts'? We already have optical telescopes like the Hubble that can resolve galaxies billions of light years distant. Why shouldn't beings millions of years ahead of us have instruments capable of resolution that sees detail on planets 10s or 100s of light years distant?

I don't claim that aliens with incredibly sharp remote sensing technologies actually exist, I was speculating about the possibility and the plausibility of such civilizations remotely studying the universe, since we ourselves also remotely study it.

Those who claim that ETs are visiting Earth on a regular basis is an entirely different thing. They claim they have proof, when there is none. They claim evidence, where none is credible. I never claimed I have proof that we are being observed from afar. It was just a thought, in my opinion a plausible thought. Excuse me for thinking.
 
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ArcCentral

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

ZenGalacticore":pktnb8re said:
ArcCentral":pktnb8re said:
(I think what you meant to say was that "they can attain light-speed, but no way they could have remote sensing high resolution technology) . I understand you were being humorous in stating the apparent contradiction in the two points.
What I meant to say was that if you are willing to give an advanced civilization some slack with your remote sensing thoughts, why is it a stretch to consider that ET is visting us every tuesday?
How am I giving a hypothetical extra-terrestrial civilization millions of years more advanced than our own 'slack with my remote sensing thoughts'? We already have optical telescopes like the Hubble that can resolve galaxies billions of light years distant. Why shouldn't beings millions of years ahead of us have instruments capable of resolution that sees detail on planets 10s or 100s of light years distant?

I don't claim that aliens with incredibly sharp remote sensing technologies actually exist, I was speculating about the possibility and the plausibility of such civilizations remotely studying the universe, since we ourselves also remotely study it.

Those who claim that ETs are visiting Earth on a regular basis is an entirely different thing. They claim they have proof, when there is none. They claim evidence, where none is credible. I never claimed I have proof that we are being observed from afar. It was just a thought, in my opinion a plausible thought. Excuse me for thinking.
I'll use your reasoning for the advancement of travel. We use to run (bout 25 mph), then we rode a horse (bout 37 mph), drive dragsters (over 300 mph) fly jets (bout 600 mph), rockets (17,000 mph and more) accelerate matter (close to the speed of light). So why is it that you don't believe that ET ( an advanced civilization a billion years old), isn't visiting us every tuesday? :)

I'm not saying your wrong about the remote sensing deal, in fact I applaud your speculation. Frankly I didn't think you had it in you. :lol:
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

I'll use your reasoning for the advancement of travel. We use to run (bout 25 mph), then we rode a horse (bout 37 mph), drive dragsters (over 300 mph) fly jets (bout 600 mph), rockets (17,000 mph and more) accelerate matter (close to the speed of light). So why is it that you don't believe that ET ( an advanced civilization a billion years old), isn't visiting us every tuesday? :)

I'm not saying your wrong about the remote sensing deal, in fact I applaud your speculation. Frankly I didn't think you had it in you. :lol:

Your reasoning, comprehension, and attention span is worse than your poetry Arc, and that's pretty bad. I never discussed any 'reasoning' on the advancement of travel. What are you talking about? What are you on? All I suggested was that more advanced beings would probably still be subject to the speed of light limit.

I'm wondering if you have anything in you other than a trolling asteroid tendency. :lol:
 
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Solifugae

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

It was a speculation and exciting question of a plausible reality. I have no idea what the technology of an alien technical civilization millions of years more advanced than us would look like, do you? Nor do I have an idea of how they might resolve images from 10s, 100s or even thousands of light years distant. But given our own advances in this respect in only a few centuries, that capability is certainly not out of the question for intelligences millions of years ahead of our own.
However, your thread inevitably raises that question: what would it take to do such a thing today? How big a mirror would you need to have resolutions of mere meters from 20 light years away, say? (I'm not asking you in particular. Maybe your aliens have a different way to do it).

I'm imaging a giant mirror many kilometers across. Not really viable in reality, and it would need to be utterly flawless. Maybe my idea of many many small mirrors combining can work?
 
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redbert

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Zen,
I get your points...

At our level of technical understanding , we are not even sure how light moves through space.

See this "eye opening" article here at space.com

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/q ... 30402.html

IF there is an intelligent civilization millions (or billion?)of years ahead of us in technology, then it is conceivable that the can manipulate light in ways we can't imagine.


I am now going to go patent my dual quanta, antimatter galactic Planck lenses before Bausch And Lomb beats me to it.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Solifugae":16kl7egz said:
It was a speculation and exciting question of a plausible reality. I have no idea what the technology of an alien technical civilization millions of years more advanced than us would look like, do you? Nor do I have an idea of how they might resolve images from 10s, 100s or even thousands of light years distant. But given our own advances in this respect in only a few centuries, that capability is certainly not out of the question for intelligences millions of years ahead of our own.
However, your thread inevitably raises that question: what would it take to do such a thing today? How big a mirror would you need to have resolutions of mere meters from 20 light years away, say? (I'm not asking you in particular. Maybe your aliens have a different way to do it).

I'm imaging a giant mirror many kilometers across. Not really viable in reality, and it would need to be utterly flawless. Maybe my idea of many many small mirrors combining can work?

It's not financially viable in today's reality. But who knows about tomorrow? And even today, after only a few hundred years of the developing of optical telescope technology, if we spent the 10s of billions of dollars necessary for a telescope the size of a small world, who knows what we would be able to see and at what magnitude of resolution.

A multi-mirrored 'bug-eyed' optical telescope-built in space- the size of Ceres or Pluto couldn't hurt, I suppose. :) That would be a great thing to achieve, IMO, if the funds for such a project could be mustered. By the time we could pull off such a massive engineering endeavor, say a few hundred years from now-or much sooner, for all we know- I can only imagine what the level of purity would be of lenses and mirrors and as yet unforeseen visible light gathering technology.

"My" aliens, unfortunately, haven't transmitted the data to me on the technology required! :cool:

It is my understanding that not only are multiple small mirrors easier to produce and refine, but also that used collectively and in tandem in a 'bug eyed' large array, they also produce superior resolution.

Studying the past, and the history of our technology and the rate of progression of our technological development, infuses me with great confidence and enthusiasm in our technological future and capabilities. And studying that past and current progress, leads me to realistically wonder what must inevitably be possible for admittedly hypothetical but plausible Beings millions of years more advanced than ourselves.
 
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Blupig

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

...You're stating that alien technological races would view us, mainly through what I'm lead to understand as telescopes. If you look at how far technology has evolved over the past century, you'd assume that an alien species millions of years ahead of us would be far beyond simply viewing; if they weren't to travel to Earth physically, why not through a kind of projection (meaning projecting their consciousness into the Earth's vicinity and exploring the Earth first hand instead of simply viewing). Think about it, it may seem way far-fetched, even for Star Trek, but millions of years more advanced than us...That's a long long time. An alien race would have probably given up on space exploration by then anyway, assuming that they thrive off of knowledge the same way humans do.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Blupig- Reread the OP and all the threads three times, and then I will talk to you.
 
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MacLaddy

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Zen,

If you are not willing to entertain other points of view then why do you ask the question? I'm not sure if this board is sympathetic enough to agree with all of your ideas.

However, it is intriguing thought. I rather think they would be awfully bored watching the Pharaohs minions stacking rocks. Maybe they watched them attempting to stack rocks for quite a long time and finally exclaimed "enough of this foolishness, let's head over there and show them how to do it right!"

Of course they would show up a few thousand years late, but they can blame that on Einsteins speed limit when they get here.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

MacLaddy- I didn't say that I wouldn't discuss his points, just that he should reread the OP and the following posts. I never said that such advanced species would necessarily use telescoping technology as we know it or as yet don't know it to render high resolution images from light years away. That's all.

After all, we today, after only a few hundred years of having telescopes, study the Universe in all manner of spectra, from the radio frequency to visual light, gamma and infra-red.

Aliens millions of years more advanced than us projecting their consciousness across the light years I suppose is not out of the question. But if light has a speed limit, I would think that any kind of consciousness projection would also. Who knows. This is, after all, merely a thought/speculation thread.

I'm of course interested in counter-points or other ideas related to light-year distant remote sensing, or people who disagree. I didn't mean to come across otherwise.

ps- Do you really think that exotic aliens would tire of studying us? Would we tire of studying a completely alien biosphere? It's possible of course, but I personally wouldn't think boredom would infect advanced sentient beings doing such a thing. I think they would be fascinated and transfixed.
 
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MacLaddy

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Perhaps their interest in this biosphere is not necessarily from just a "Watch-and-learn" mentality, but instead they are observing how well their little science experiment is evolving... I personally would tire quickly of watching ants in their day-to-day activity, but that's just me.

I do wonder though, what could they learn from us? A race that advanced surely wouldn't need to observe our scientific methods, or our biological systems; as they would undoubtedly already have that information. Perhaps they have an extreme interest in Reese's Pieces. I would.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

I suspect that they would be enthralled watching ants or humans, since the likelihood of their own planet having anything resembling ants or humans would be astronomically against them having those two species, or any other species similar to those found on Earth.
 
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Blupig

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

ZenGalacticore":1je2z0aj said:
MacLaddy- I didn't say that I wouldn't discuss his points, just that he should reread the OP and the following posts. I never said that such advanced species would necessarily use telescoping technology as we know it or as yet don't know it to render high resolution images from light years away. That's all.

After all, we today, after only a few hundred years of having telescopes, study the Universe in all manner of spectra, from the radio frequency to visual light, gamma and infra-red.

Aliens millions of years more advanced than us projecting their consciousness across the light years I suppose is not out of the question. But if light has a speed limit, I would think that any kind of consciousness projection would also. Who knows. This is, after all, merely a thought/speculation thread.

I'm of course interested in counter-points or other ideas related to light-year distant remote sensing, or people who disagree. I didn't mean to come across otherwise.

ps- Do you really think that exotic aliens would tire of studying us? Would we tire of studying a completely alien biosphere? It's possible of course, but I personally wouldn't think boredom would infect advanced sentient beings doing such a thing. I think they would be fascinated and transfixed.
I don't want to spark an argument, but I thought I'd just point out that you edited your post on Sept 30th as where I posted my reply on Sept 29th.

On another note, projection of consciousness per-say wouldn't even really need to be necessary. If technology would ever get to the point of being actually able to materialize particles at a given location (one with a "mark" or beacon) A.K.A. teleportation, then speed/velocity would be completely irrelevant. This would in fact mean that any alien species would have had to visit the Earth at least once to leave a beacon behind, since spontaneous teleportation seems a little...Over the top.

You have some very interesting ideas :p
 
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ZenGalacticore

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Re: Alien Remote Sensing and Billion year-old civilizations

Blupig wrote-
I don't want to spark an argument, but I thought I'd just point out that you edited your post on Sept 30th as where I posted my reply on Sept 29th.

On another note, projection of consciousness per-say wouldn't even really need to be necessary. If technology would ever get to the point of being actually able to materialize particles at a given location (one with a "mark" or beacon) A.K.A. teleportation, then speed/velocity would be completely irrelevant. This would in fact mean that any alien species would have had to visit the Earth at least once to leave a beacon behind, since spontaneous teleportation seems a little...Over the top.

You have some very interesting ideas :p

Zen replied-
After consulting with SDC management and on advice, the title of the thread was changed to avoid confusion between hypothetical technological telescoping, detection, and 'remote sensing', with 'Extra-Sensory-Perception' or ESP. I thought it sound advice so I took it. The idea being that we'll try to keep the speculation within the realm of hypothetical alien physical technological capability and not let it fall into the realm of the paranormal or supernatural. This way the thread can stay in the SETI forum and not be moved to "The Unexplained".

Once moved to "The Unexplained" it would further deteriorate into, IMO, mystical mumbo jumbo. While any advanced alien technology would no doubt be fantastic to us, said aliens would still be physical beings subject to the same physical laws as we are, albeit perhaps not with the same level of restriction. By that I mean that they may have developed close to speed of light travel, and high resolution remote sensing, detection, imaging, and telescoping capabilities.

As we speak, astronomers, planetary scientists, and others are working on an array of remote sensing technologies. (Again, and I must stress this point, 'remote sensing' in this context has nothing to do with ESP.) Among them are ways to detect what is referred to as 'Earthshine'. By detecting the reflected atmosphere of distant exo-planets, it is known that we can determine if a planet has biological life by the prevalence of free oxygen in its atmosphere because of the tell-tale spectral signature of free oxygen as well as nitrogen. IOWs, such detection would indicate an earth-like planet because free oxygen is volatile and readily combines with other elements into various oxides. (Like rust is formed with iron.)

Large amounts of 02 could only be constantly replenished by massive amounts of photosynthetic plant life.

With regards to teleportation- and don't get me wrong, most science fans love the idea of teleportation- how would the disassembled atoms of whatever you are teleporting travel faster than light from teleport A to teleport B? Or are you talking about reassembling the object or life form from Pad A atom for atom with new atoms on Pad B? (That is, new atoms taken from the local environment on Pad B, to recreate, particle for particle, whatever was 'left behind' on Pad A) Even if THAT were possible, the information transmitted from A to B would still be subject to the speed of light.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Good job with refining the title to avoid woo-woo buzzwords.

So everyone knows, it was I who advised him to change the title to focus the discussion on the subject he was aiming for.

The change was made with "our" full advice and support.

MW
 
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