What’s Playing on Earth Tonight?


Via Strange Maps: "The first tv images of World War II are about to hit Aldebaran star system, 65 light years away. If there’s anybody out there alive and with eyes to see it, the barrage of actual and dramatised footage of WW2 will keep them shocked and/or entertained for decades to come."


  1. scientitian says

    If I’m remembering my physics right, the signal would be so weak and distorted by cosmic radiation that it would be meaningless static by the time it reached Alpha Centauri. It’s an interesting idea, but I’m afraid there are likely no civilizations watching episodes of Ally McBeal in a nearby star system.

  2. Yeek says

    Scientitian is right. The energy makes the trip, but the signal lacks any coherence after only a few light years. Sorry guys.

  3. Blake says

    um no yeek YOU’RE wrong and so is the person with the appropriate moniker above you. you obviously don’t understand the definition of coherence in this context and the fact that cosmic rays have nothing whatsoever to do with the propagation of radio waves in empty space. TV broadcasts from earth would be perfectly easily detectable from the nearest star systems with an arecibo scale dish. the calculations are trivial.

  4. notana says

    Even more fascinating is how only American tv signals are able to leave the solar system …