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Writer Fuel: How Do You Find Aliens? Giant Lasers, Of Course

Giant Spaceship - Deposit Photos

Scientists have proposed another use for the world’s largest gravitational wave observatory: scanning for the ripples in space-time left in the wake of gargantuan alien spaceships.

Gravitational waves ripple out when objects with mass move through space. Bigger objects — such as planets, neutron stars or black holes — produce more prominent gravitational waves. These space-time ripples were first directly detected in 2015, but since then, scientists have been getting better at spotting the waves as they lap at our cosmic shores.

Now, new calculations published Dec. 5 to the preprint database arXiv suggest that the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) can look beyond conventional sources for these space-time ripples. Colossal alien spacecraft traveling at high speeds, or pushed along by warp drives, would also produce the telltale vibrations, the authors said.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

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