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A spacecraft with solar arrays and a large battery is
landed on comets of long orbital duration. When the
comets are at apogee the spacecraft will broadcast
thrash music on various frequencies to the extent of
battery. Upon return to our orbit the solar array
will once again charge
the battery and transmission
again commence. Scientists will check to see if the
system is working, if the playlist is the same or has
reprogrammed, and whether the entire contraption
been vandalized or removed and replaced with something
A serious version of this idea in reverse.
[whatrock, Jun 08 2020]
Still less than 1 light-day distant [kdf, Jun 08 2020]
||One slight problem: comets dont leave the Solar
||If they flub the course, do they release a apogee
||/ One slight problem: comets dont leave the Solar
||Basically, the idea was to have a sort of indicator or beacon
on something that regularly reaches far beyond our usual
monitoring area; a comet with a decades-long orbit would
do nicely. While we have sent out interstellar probes
containing our information they're only useful if aliens wish
to plot a return course. But a passing alien on its way to
Magrathea could interact with a comet-mounted device and
never have to visit us in person.
||1) I think you meant aphelion (furthest point from
Sol) rather than apogee (furthest from Earth).
||2) Short period comets (orbits only decades
long) are still so close to Earth that its hardly
worth putting a beacon on them. A ship passing
through te neighborhood would find the Earth
itself - all of its
radio noise and distinctive atmosphere - easier to
spot and more interesting than a lone pirate radio
||3) Long period comets have orbits that take
centuries. Good luck budgeting THAT project. And
even if you do, anything with a closed orbit is
STILL closer to Sol than the nearest stars, and
Earth itself still a noisier radio object than
anything you could land on a comet.
||If interest is peaked, having a quick peak at a lone piece of technology is far better than dealing with the mess. Also wouldn't this be a set and let amateurs check deal, as technology will advance as the centuries pass.
||What's wrong with "apoapsis"?
||What would be the VALUE of apoapsis? I mean, in
the context of whatrocks suggestion, that
someone passing through would detect the beacon
and interact with it.
||Never thought Id say this, but I miss the borg. He
was much better than
than me at smacking down silly ideas. Of
course, if he shows up again it probably wont be
long before I resume telling him to drop dead...
||You don't have to stop just because he's not here.
||you dont have to stop
Stop which? Smacking down silly ideas or telling
him to drop dead?
||At least it isn't a way to modulate the Sun's
||If someone is just passing through, we can't make judgements on their level of technology.
||This silly idea originated while studying the Voyager deep
space probes, each containing information on humans and
Earth. Intelligent species could intercept a probe, learn
about it and us and perhaps plot a reciprocal course to
visit us. And since both probes were launched over 40
years ago perhaps this has already happened.
||The problem is that the probes are one-way emissaries;
aside from their continued meager transmitted info have
they encountered intelligent life? Using what we have,
how could we send something a great distance and have
it return, and know if it had some effect?
||"Using what we have..."
Radio is still the way to go for SETI and CETI efforts "using
what we have." Fund a project to routinely send
messages and listen for potential signals from Arecibo or
||"...how could we send something a great distance and have
return, and know if it had some effect?"
We can't. Not if you' insist on a physical object out
and back in a length of time somewhat shorter than all of
recorded human history. 42 years on, the Voyage probes are
still less than 1 light-day out.
||//We can't.// I was always told, "there's no such word as "can't"". I used to think that was slightly paradoxical, mind.
||"We can't" within the framework whatrock offered:
||With current technology it may be barely possible
something to the heliopause and get it back within
a typical human lifetime. But that would be
probably be the least cost
effective, least likely way to attract the attention
passing through the solar system. An Earthbound
telescope broadcasting a signal would be a lot
||If the Extraterrestrials are even into our radio waves rather than moving tiny unnatural specks against the void. I would have thought a thorough grounding in void dynamics would be fundamental to interstellar engine design.
||In my opinion FTL really is impossible, meaning time dilation via going super duper fast (a technical term), robots, and generation ships are the only way to go. Those don't necessarily need any understanding of void dynamics.
||Even going near super duper fast will need an understanding of the traversed space. Although, void dynamics may open higher dimensions. Or at the very least, help access to exceptional amounts of energy and the control thereof.