After reading the science fiction book Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter, Belgian astronomer Michaël Gillon wanted to explore the possibility of interstellar communication in real life.
The book follows the protagonist to the edge of the Solar System where he discovers a quantum gateway for interstellar travel. And that gave Gillon, who led the team that discovered the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, a real-world idea straight out of sci-fi.
“I had this idea of assuming an ancient civilization that would have explored the whole galaxy using self-replicating probes,” Gillon tells Inverse. “And they would use this gravitational lensing technique to communicate from one system to the other.”
Gillon thought of a galactic scale communication network that uses stars to boost its communication. In a study posted on the preprint server Arxiv, Gillon and his colleagues suggest one star as the ideal candidate to intercept that interstellar communication line. And it’s one that Star Trek: The Next Generation fans will recognize instantly.
HERE’S THE BACKGROUND — The study presupposes that aliens not only exist, but they are far more advanced than human civilization. This hypothetical ancient alien civilization uses self-replicating probes known as the von Neumann probe.
To read more, click here.