Laser technology could be used to attract attention from aliens

Nov. 6 (UPI) — Pointing a special laser from Earth could act as a beacon light to aliens in space, a recent study said. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, published in Astrophysical Journal, proposes the idea of focusing a high-powered 1- to 2-megawatt laser through a large 30- to 45-meter telescope in order to produce an infrared beam that could shine into space. That beam, said lead researcher James Clark, would be at least 10 times stronger than the sun, making it powerful enough to shine through the sun’s energy. “I wanted to see if I could take the kinds of telescopes and lasers that we’re building today, and make a detectable beacon out of them,” Clark said in a press release. Clark said the megawatt laser could send Morse code signals to alien astronomers living in systems closest to the Earth such as Proxima Centauri or TRAPPIST-1, a star 40 light years away with three potentially habitable exoplanets. “If we were to successfully close a handshake and start to communicate, we could flash a message, at a data rate of about a few hundred bits per second, which would get there in just a few years,” Clark said. He want...

Behold the revolution: LED bulbs are now as cheap as incandescents

Years ago, Bill Gates looked at the computer revolution and noted that, “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.” Today it would be a flying car running on sunshine that costs a dime. But in many ways, the LED revolution has been just as breathtaking. I couldn’t help but smile when I read about a recent deal from a certain omnipresent online company, offering a dozen 800 lumen Philips LED bulbs for twenty-two bucks. This is truly extraordinary, a transformation that we have watched in in real time on TreeHugger. The first LED bulb we showed on TreeHugger in 2007 punched out 594 lumens and cost $70. The post got 174 comments. Then TreeHugger emeritus Mike spent a few years reviewing every new bulb; I loved his review of the Philips AmbientLED 12.5-watt A19 LED lightbulb: “A Bulb from the Future! It Looks Like it Belongs on a Spaceship!” Exciting times. It looked weird, cost $40, and was rated for 25,000 hours. The two-buck Philips bulbs selling today are rated for ten years, give the same 800 lumens running at 8.5 watts. About the same time, Mike reviewed GE bulbs with big rad...