Haven’t Found E.T. Yet? Blame Mobile Phones
Nature’s calling us, and we can’t even hear it. Why not? Because there’s a map for that.
The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) recently published a report which claims there are some natural signals, such as radio emissions from space and natural earth phenomena, are being impeded by consumer gadgets such as cell phones and other wireless devices.
These wireless devices are regulated, but the NRC is calling for stricter rules and regulations to ensure the devices won’t be bleeding into the same spectrum as these quieter natural signals that are crucial to collecting scientific data.
According to LiveScience:
The “electronic fog” of manmade signals could not only dampen scientific discoveries, but also threaten passive monitoring systems vital to agriculture, transportation and national defense.
Passive instruments listen for faint radio emissions from water, soil and atmospheric gases, as well as emissions related to atmospheric changes in temperature and humidity.
The NRC believes that while these manmade wireless signals are essential to the global economy and thus are necessary to keep intact, a certain balance must be achieved so that both sides can be appeased.
Proper balance could be wrought about in a few different ways: set aside more spectrum for these signals that can’t be reached by mobile devices; develop new technologies to allow both to co-exist peacefully; or simply allow scientists the ability to briefly turn off radio transmissions so they can collect data when a satellite passes over a given area. There are certainly many possible ideas to ensure scientists can continue in their work unimpeded by the latest technology out there.