Aliens looking to contact Earth will probably fire lasers at us rather than lugging their spacecraft all the way across the galaxy.
That’s according to German scientist Dr Michael Hippke, who says the gravity on alien worlds may be so strong that rockets can’t power through their atmospheres.
‘Aliens are unlikely to visit our planet because the gravitational pull of their own worlds is too strong’
Working with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany, he explored the difficulty of spaceflight for inhabitants of distant planets called Super Earths.
Scientists have spotted dozens of them outside of our solar system, and many believe they offer our best chance of finding alien life.
Many of them are significantly bigger than Earth, and this could cause problems for any extraterrestrial rocket scientists living there, Dr Hippke said.
Each planet’s gravitational pull is far stronger than ours, meaning you’d need a lot more fuel to escape them than you do on Earth.
‘One German scientist thinks extraterrestrials will use laser technology to contact humanity’
Dr Hippke’s calculated the forces needed for a rocket to escape the atmosphere of a Super Earth 70% wider and 10 times heavier than our planet.
He showed a rocket on a Super Earth would need to weigh around 444,000 tons due to fuel requirements – about the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
“Many rocky exoplanets are heavier and larger than the Earth, and have higher surface gravity,” Dr Hippke told Space.com.
“This makes space-flight on these worlds very challenging. On more massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive.”
‘Spaceflight would be “too expensive” for aliens to bother with’
The engineering miracles needed to achieve this means aliens are unlikely to ever visit us on Earth.
Instead, they’ll probably opt for messages sent via high tech laser beams to reach far flung parts of the galaxy.
“Civilisations from Super Earths are much less likely to explore the stars,” Dr Hippke said.
Instead, they would use “lasers or radio telescopes for interstellar communication.”
By – Harry Pettit