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Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by amazing
As everyone else is saying; roughly 80 years for our message to be received, and a reply to return.
Year 00 - Us: Hello! We're from Earth. If you come here, please don't eat us.
Year 40 - Aliens: WTF is this? Send this reply ...
Year 80 - We get this message out of nowhere: Are you animal, vegetable, or mineral?
The round-trip talk time would have such lag that each end would likely forget a conversation was ever even started.
Plausible Science Fiction ways around this, fiction mind you, but seated in remote possibility, would be to send one end of a stable micro-wormhole however long it might take a space craft to travel those 40 light years; many many thousands of years using today's propulsion, but, when the wormhole got there, we'd then have instant communication, if there's anyone there, and if anyone on this end even remembered there was a phone line left open on this end.
The most distant spacecraft humans have made is Voyager 1, which is currently about 100 AU from the Sun, after 30 years of travel. At this rate it will take 18,750 years for Voyager 1 to travel one light-year.
So, 18,750 x 40 = 750,000 years to travel 40 light years ONE way at the speed of Voyager.
That's 3/4ths of 1 MILLION years.
Thus, as said, if there was anyone on the other end of the micro-wormhole when it arrived to talk, and anyone here even remembered we had a phone line sent off to planet XYZ 750,000 years ago, then, we'd have some instant full-duplex conversation; with as much bandwidth as can/could be squeezed out of a micro-wormhole.
Something to consider:
Radio and television broadcasts from 40 years ago in 1972 are at the 40 light-year mark in our ever expanding radio bubble.
Aliens could be listening to this:
Imagine an alien civilization influenced by this where a disco Inferno Alien sets off to make contact with the signal origin.
edit on 19-11-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)