Last year, the first-ever observations of merging binary stars amazed the entire scientific community. However, that would be nothing compared with the first clear signs of extraterrestrial life. But, a new study imagined how advanced alien civilizations could use neutron-star crashes to contact us.
“We were really impressed by the rapid growth of multi-messenger astronomy associated with the neutron star merger detected last August and started thinking about interesting possibilities far beyond traditional astronomical studies. Actually, previously, we were not familiar with the SETI activities,” said Yuki Nishino, a physicist at Kyoto University in Japan, and the new study’s leading author.
Mr. Nishino and one of his colleagues imagined how an advanced alien civilization outside our galaxy, the Milky Way, might “hack” the signals emitted during neutron-star crashes to infiltrate a message of their own to communicate with other civilizations in the Universe, like us.
Could indeed aliens use neutron-star crashes to contact us?
The fundamental idea the two scientists based their study upon is that technologically advanced extraterrestrials could predict when a merger of a binary neutron star took place in their own galaxy with high accuracy. In fact, we can do that on Earth, too, as neutron stars are pulsars, basically, and generate spinning jets of light which can be tracked by astronomers.
According to the researchers, aliens have to produce a signal precisely when the collision takes place. Also, the alien signal has to be a very powerful one, given that it addresses civilizations in other galaxies.
However, the Yuki Nishino and his colleague’s study presumes that an advanced alien civilization is indeed interested in contacting other species in the Universe. But that’s quite possible, after all.
On the other hand, Nishino thinks that searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI, in short) should focus on neutron-star crashes in the Universe since we already have the methods to do that and binary neutron star collisions might indeed help aliens contact us.