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No one's Science & Technology News Service

It's a load of balls!

13:00 22 November 03

OldScientist.com news service


Well, spheres actually.

Parts of the Earth are regularly referred to in terms of the northern or southern hemisphere, we hear of the atmosphere and the stratosphere and ionosphere; all basically static spherical areas centred on the Earth.

I propose a new "-sphere" be referred to. The Babelosphere - this being the area of space which mankind has polluted by radio broadcasts.

As radio waves travel at 300,000 kilometres per second we are talking about an area which increases in radius by about 9.5 million million kilometres a year - lets say 10 billion. Given that Marconi first started making broadcasts somewhat over 100 years ago we are talking about an area of (10 x 100) x 4π2 - 39478.4 billion square kilometres. This edge of this sphere is the point at which extra-terrestrials begin to come into 'contact' with humanity.

Imagine if you will the effect of entering this sphere, at first there are a few weak signals, followed by more signals of greater strength, and eventually one arrives at the babble of junk we are spewing forth constantly.

I imagine it might be something similar to coming at night unto a big city and seeing a few lights at first, then more and more until one is in the middle of a garish blaze of multi-coloured neon and halogen, burning the ones eyes out and obliterating the night sky. (Thinking of this brings a sudden thought. Would an extra-terrestrial's radio telescope encounter our Babelosphere as a blur, obscuring the areas of the universe 'behind' us?)

If the universe is collapsing what will happen when our Babelosphere meets the boundary?

Tony McCoy O'Grady

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