27 November 2021

Reaching the stars

I doubt that I will ever go into space, no matter how cheap flights in the Bezos dong rocket and its successors may eventually become.  But it has occurred to me that I may someday reach the stars.

In some areas of the world, internet access is delivered via satellite, and the infrastructure for doing this is expanding rapidly, with thousands of new satellites planned for the end of 2022.  This means that pretty much everything on the internet will be beamed out into space, toward satellites which will re-direct the signal back to customers on Earth.  Since radio waves aimed at a satellite also continue on into the void beyond, this means that eventually the whole internet will be streaming out into the cosmos.

I don't know how far such signals can travel before weakening to the point of being drowned out by the cosmic background radiation.  But they will never entirely disappear, and even at interstellar distances, it's conceivable that a civilization with sufficiently advanced technology might be able to extract the faint signal from the noise -- and see our internet in all its glory.

I have never expected to have any sort of monument, of course.  But I feel it would be a fine thing if one day, long after I am gone, some unimaginable alien being in a distant solar system were to decipher and read one of my blog posts, and be offended by it.


Anonymous Ole phat stu said...

The wavefront of human radio communication is already way over 100 lightyears away but lost in the background noise of the sun.

27 November, 2021 03:23  
Blogger NickM said...

You are late to the game... Ever since Tesla and Marconi we have been radiating our presence. And given the whole speed of light thing (cheers Albert) your musings will arrive quite a bit after "I Love Lucy" or the rantings of Hitler. It is entirely possible that First Contact will involve aliens turning up in flapper frocks (their idea of culturally appropriate interaction) and asking to dance The Charleston. And why not? Taking an alien appendage by the hand (if that is the right term?) and going boogie is more fun than watching "Masterchef". Obviously.

27 November, 2021 06:36  
Blogger Lady M said...

Perhaps they will form a religion around your blog.

27 November, 2021 08:11  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Phat: Yeah, I mentioned that.

NickM: I know, but I'm talking about what might remain of me personally.

Lady M: I'd hope they'd abolish one because of it.

27 November, 2021 10:07  
Blogger Mike said...

The dust of us will be back in the cosmos in about 5 billion years. I can't wait!

27 November, 2021 10:15  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

If we could go farther than mars and it wouldn't take years to get there, I would probably go for a ride. Maybe one day before my days end, aliens will make themselves known and we will be mature enough to get to know them. Hopefully they aren't dangerous or maybe we're the dangerous species in that factor and that's why they are leaving us be for now. There are too many planets out there for me not to believe that life is out there somewhere.

27 November, 2021 10:36  
Blogger Kay said...

You are so much fun. I'm sure Aliens would get a kick out of everything they would see on your blog.

27 November, 2021 12:05  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mike: Well, I'd rather leave more identifiable traces.

Mary K: I kind of hope we never find out. In Earth's history, interactions between cultures at different technological levels usually don't work out too well for the more primitive one.

Kay: Thanks! Maybe even some of the commenters here are aliens. In some cases I'm not sure I could tell the difference.

28 November, 2021 01:27  

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