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Thread: Beacon for a Type 3 civ...maybe...

  1. #1
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    Beacon for a Type 3 civ...maybe...

    This is a bit odd, but...

    I was thinking that a civilization with absolutely huge amounts of energy at their disposal (think Kardashev Type 3) might be able to manipulate the mass and magnetic properties of a pulsar in such a way as to modulate a signal out of it, and effectively have an intergalactic omnidirectional beacon to transmit messages over huge distances.

    On the other hand, with that much energy, they may not need the pulsar to transmit signals of that much power. They'd probably already need to tow a couple of stars into orbit just to power the damn thing...

  2. #2
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    I prefer sky writing with supernovas Kind of a giant "Eat at Joes" sign in the sky. :-P

    j/k
    This is interesting. Maybe use mathematic properties and code that into the flashing of the star to shopw that it is not a unusual phenomenon.

  3. #3
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    Right, like pulsing out the Fibonacci sequence or something. That would probably be recognized pretty quickly as an artificial signal, and not just some really unusual pulsar property. I figure since its omnidirectional, massively powerful (visible from other galaxies! ), and an object of relative astronomical interest for other civilizations anyway, you'd have a good chance of attracting the attention of other civs that way.

    But I wonder how exactly the pulsing could be controlled? Do you think by generating a massive magnetic flux across the star, a temporary current might be generated inside, and the pulses controlled like passing current through an antenna? This is pure speculation, really.

  4. #4
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    What would be really freaky is seeing a star moving across the night sky, as if it were being towed elsewhere by a Type 3 Civ.

  5. #5
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    Or finding a cluster of stars in a perfect cubic grid pattern, especially if they were all of the same spectral class.

  6. #6
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    I don't think pulsars are omnidirectional. They are a beam that points in one direction but rotates like a lighthouse beacon (per the accepted theory). They stay in a plane perpendicuclar to the spin axis. Maybe a type 3 could cause it to nutate.

  7. #7
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    Or set a group or puslars in a Kempler's Rossette (like the Fleet of Worlds Larry Niver's Puppeteer;s are "fleeing the galaxy" on....)

  8. #8
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    I don't know where you'd find all those pulsars, but I like the idea. I looked it up, and John is right - pulsars aren't omnidirectional. They spew jets of luminous particles from their magnetic poles. So if you had several of them, you could point them all in different directions. Or, if only one pulsar were available, you could conceivably induce a second rotational axis perpendicular to the star's already existing one. The second axis' period could be set to a fractional multiple of the period of the first, such that the plane of the beam rotation would itself rotate like a lighthouse. That way, you'd hit almost everywhere in the galaxy with the beam, and the pulsing would still occur with a regular period which other civilizations could calculate and count on.

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