The Reenchantment of the Solar System:
A Proposed Search for Local ETís
Gregory Lee Matloff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is argued using a conservative approach to interstellar
travel that intelligent extraterrestrials (ETs) may be present
in our solar system, living in world ships that have colonized cometary or
asteroidal objects during the last billion years.
The originating star systems for these advanced beings could
be solar-type stars that fortuitously approach our Sun within
a light year or so at intervals of about a million years or
nearby stars that have left the main sequence, prompting interstellar
If we are indeed within such a "Dyson Sphere" of artificial worldlets, we
could detect their presence through astronomical
means since a space habitat will emit more infrared radiation
than a like-sized comet or asteroid.
Interestingly, several Kuiper-Belt objects have recently been
found to have an unexpected and substantial red excess. It is
argued that, in opposition to the assumptions of current SETI searches, the
very advanced occupants of this possible local
Dyson Sphere may have as little interest in beaming radio
signals in our direction as we do in communicating with termites.
A research program is proposed whereby large and small college
observatories would routinely monitor the spectral irradiances
of Near Earth and Kuiper Belt objects while a concurrent
theoretical effort models the spectral characteristics of
various proposed space habitats.
Much of the observational work, at least, could be dovetailed
with projects designed to detect Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) that
might impact Earth in the future. Possible strategies and
protocols for direct contact, requiring humans to be the
active contactees are presented to be considered for use if
such intelligent ETs are discovered within our solar system.
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