WATCH: How advanced would aliens need to be to contact Earth?

#Alien #UFOWATCH: How advanced would aliens need to be to contact Earth? : A couple of months ago, sky-watchers around the world got pretty darn excited when news broke about a mysterious radio signal that seemed to be emanating from a star called HD 164595.

HD 164595 is located some 94 light-years away from Earth, and that epic distance – together with the unexplained nature of the transmission – had people thinking: if this were contact from an alien civilisation, they’d need to have some pretty powerful technology to send a signal all that way. The anomaly was later explained as a terrestrial disturbance caused by a Soviet satellite (bummer!), but what if it had been an alien signal? How advanced would they have to be to achieve such a feat?

As the video above from the Wall Street Journal explains, the most popular frame of reference for considering such a question is what’s called theKardashev scale, proposed by Soviet astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. The scale, which is totally hypothetical, is useful because it gives us three different stages of progress – called Type I, Type II, and Type III civilisations – that measure how technologically advanced a society is.

This in turn affects how far they’d be able to send a transmission into space, if any aliens wanted to get in touch and say hi, for example. Now, on Earth, we might have some nice stuff – like rocket ships, hoverboards, and Stranger Things – but when it comes to technology, we don’t even rank as a Type I civilisation.

That’s because we’re not yet technologically capable of harnessing all the potential energy generated by our own planet – reaping every last watt out of solar, thermal, volcanic, tectonic, and oceanic energy. We might be getting closer all the time, but we’re not a Type I yet.

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