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TV for Aliens

MTV for Martians? Maybe not, but the idea of broadcasting into space is not as far out as you'd think!

TV broadcasting tower

Photo: Daniel Ferreira Baltà

This broadcasting station in Berlin might not be producing alien TV shows, but its electromagnetic waves are still being shot out to galaxies far far away.

Here’s something you don’t hear about every day, a television show specifically designed for aliens was broadcast by a TV station in Berlin.

The show, narrated in both German in French, had the English title “Cosmic Connexion.” Now here’s where it gets good. The hosts were naked, and explained to the aliens how the human body works, as well as interviewing various scientists about different ways in which we’ve tried to contact alien life.

Okay, so maybe this is just sensationalist TV and not real science. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. But believe it or not, the producers of Cosmic Connexion got one thing right.

They said their show was being broadcast to the star Errai in the constellation Cepheus, and ask anyone who might happen to be living there to send a message back. In fact, “Cosmic Connexion” may well reach the star Errai, along with a whole lot of other bad TV, radio, and random electronic noise from planet Earth.

That’s because television shows are broadcast using electromagnetic waves, which move at the speed of light and can travel through space for unlimited distances. The intensity of the signal is diminished the farther from Earth you go, but it never dies out completely.

If there is an intelligent civilization on a planet circling Errai, and they have the technology to pick up extremely faint electromagnetic waves, they will indeed receive a transmission of naked humans on Cosmic Connexion. There’s another catch, though. Errai is so far away that even at the speed of light the signal won’t get there until 2051.

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