MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: Will radio/TV signals from Earth reach the nearer stars?

Date: Mon Jul 31 13:11:59 2000
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Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 965063519.As

Is it reasonable to assume that radio or TV broadcasts could be picked up 
at a distance of, say, fifty light years by a civilization scanning the 
heavens with their own SETI program? Electromagnetic interference is 
generated on the planet by thunderstorms, geomagnetic storms, and such. The 
signals have to make it past the ionosphere and radiation belts. Then there 
is radio pollution by the Sun and by Jupiter. The attenuation caused by the 
inverse square law would do the rest. Is the premise of Sagan's _Contact_ a 
reasonable one? Could the ET's separate the signal from the noise?

Re: Will radio/TV signals from Earth reach the nearer stars?

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