Alien Civilisations outside the Terragen Sphere
NGC 5917
Image from ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0
NGC 5917, a galaxy in Libra, 87 million light years distant. Several medium-level energy-emitting civilisations have been detected in this galaxy, one of billions of similar galaxies in the Visible Universe which are under observation by Terragen telescopes
Using advanced telescopes and other detection methods, the visible universe outside the Terragen Sphere can be examined for signs of life, and for signs of intelligent activity. Information from widely-spaced telescopes can be correlated across thousands of light-years using the Wormhole Nexus, allowing a three-dimensional picture of the Hubble Volume to be created.

The more distant an object is, the fewer photons (and other particles) are received by Terragen instruments; so these instruments need to be constructed on a very large scale to collect as much data as possible. Large megastructures such as Dyson Swarms and Banks Orbitals can incorporate arrays of telescopic sensors on the outermost surface of their structure; although these sensors are often used primarily for defence, they can also contribute useful data to the study of the rest of the visible universe and to the search for non-terragen intelligence.

The largest network of telescopic detectors used for this purpose is the Argus Array, a coordinated system more than a thousand light-years across; but many other megascale detector systems exist, and data from such sources is becoming increasingly available thanks to a number of mutual data-sharing agreements between the Sephirotics Empires and other factions. Some data has also been obtained from local xenosophont civilisations such as the Muuh and the Soft Ones, who have been observing the Visible Universe for millions of years.

Looking into the Past

Any location that is far away from the detection system is separated by a gulf of both space and time. Civilisations that are located in the Andromeda Galaxy can only be observed using emissions that have been travelling for two million years; even emissions from locations on the far side of our own galaxy originated long before the Terragen Civilisation emerged.

For this reason all information from these locations is necessarily out of date- these civilisations may have already become extinct, like so many in the past history of our own galaxy; indeed any life-bearing world which can be detected may already have become victim to a sterilising event such as a gamma-ray burster, or simply become uninhabitable due to environmental changes. Although the observation of distant xenosophonts is instructive and allows many useful comparisons to be made, there is little guarantee that any contact will ever be made with these civilisations.

Image from Steve Bowers
Cliotelescopes such as the Coronese Historical Telescope Array can be used to observe the past history of the universe outside the Terragen Sphere, as well as historical events closer to home)

Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 01 January 2007.

Additional Information
NGC 5197 image by ESA/Hubble, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported license (more details)