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Russian President Vladimir Putin said this month that he is not bluffing about using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. As an astronomer, an immediate question came to my mind: If Putin were to follow on this threat and explode a tactical nuclear bomb, how far away from Earth would the flash of light be visible to a space telescope of an extraterrestrial civilization?

Frankly, I am worried that extraterrestrials will downgrade our intelligence if they realize that we are on the path to self-destruction. My response to the war in Ukraine resembles the reaction of a kid to a loud argument among his parents at home. It reflects the fear of what our cosmic neighbors might think if they notice the violence on our home planet.

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