This map is probably nonsense, alas.

Interesting nonsense that gives us some perspective on the history of television from a new angle, but probably nonsense:


Bear in mind that I am not anything remotely resembling an expert on this topic, or even an apprentice; but I am given to understand that in general our radio and television broadcasting signals are going to degrade over interstellar distances… and at this point somebody says “Fermi Paradox,” and then somebody else says “Drake Equation,” and then the arguments start.

Damned if I know where the hell is everybody, myself.


  • EvanM says:

    It actually doesn’t matter if the original “broadcasts” would decay. The point is that those are the newest broadcasts aliens could be watching. The first ones, for example, weren’t even broadcast into space; we could imagine, though, that an alien civilization was spying on us from within the planet, or a closer satellite, and then relaying info home. It would still take as long for their broadcasts to get there, caveats for quantum tunneling, etc.

  • Neil Stevens says:

    Doesn’t look like nonsense to me. The stars I know are in the right places anyway, and the shows seem to be correctly timed.

    The signals won’t degrade like a VHS tape though. They just get less powerful over time because they’re being spread over a larger area (area being the accurate term, as it’s a two dimensional surface of a sphere).

    So if the aliens had sensitive-enough equipment, AND lucked into figuring out how to decode NTSC, they could watch.

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