The human fixation with intelligent alien life on other planets is such that by now virtually everyone has seen UFOs threatening the Earth in fiction. The idea of a conflict between alien beings and the human race is now such a common trope that it is almost unimaginable that they could be anything other than hostile should this scenario occur. Obviously, it also needs to be noted that despite the cultural prominence of alien visitors and UFOs, the actual likelihood of an invasion must be fairly negligible!
However, a team of astronomers believe that they have discovered the ideal solution to an alien civilisation threatening the Earth. While we have no concept of whether such a race of beings would be friendly or hostile, at least we know that we can respond to such threat in the unlikely event of it ever materializing.
The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society doesn’t often feature concepts such as a laser cloaking device, but this has recently been part of an edition of the publication. The principle behind this innovation is that it would enable the human race to effectively hide ourselves from hostile aliens searching for planets to attack, rape and otherwise pillage.
This might sound rather far-fetched, but the idea of the laser cloaking concept is to fire a laser beam at the precise moment that the Earth crosses in front of the sun from the perspective of other stars lying on the same plane. This would have the effect of cancelling out the transit of the Earth; the same footprints that space telescopes utilize in order to pinpoint planets orbiting other stars.
Although this unquestionably sounds like a concept from science fiction – as indeed does the necessity to defend ourselves from aliens in the first place! – this idea is actually rather more feasible then it may appear. Study co-author Alex Teachey, a graduate student at Columbia University, in fact told Gizmodo that it would be possible to “build this next week if we really wanted to. It’s totally feasible with current technology.”
Laser cloaking device
According to the maths included in the article, blasting a 30MW laser for around 10 hours once annually would be sufficient to eliminate the transit footprint of the Earth completely. This would effectively utterly cloak the Earth, ensuring that alien beings would never be able to perceive the planet and ultimately colonize it (at least assuming that our understanding of physics applies to the outer universe!).
The 30MW of power that this would require can be converted to the energy collected by the international space station in a year, so it is not exactly a trivial amount of electricity. It could be argued that this is a trivial amount considering that it ensures the survival of the Earth and human race, but on the other hand it could equally be asserted that the Earth is under no immediate threat from aliens in the first place!
Nonetheless, this is an interesting concept that could have useful applications in the future.