Intertemporal Communication

  • Published on: 16 July 2020
  • There's a plausible chance that we may be alone in the galaxy right now. But the odds that the galaxy has never, and will never, host other civilizations is far less likely. Today we explore the possibility of communicating through time, and how such a feat might be accomplished.

    You can now support our research program and the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University:

    Thank-you to Kevin Clark, Tom Widdowson, Denny Smith, Stephanie Hackley, Kolos Kantor, Patrick Herman, Abel Aganbegyan, Claudio Bottaccini, Daniel Brunk, Scott Fincher & James Kindred for their support and especially to Executive Producers Mark Sloan, Laura Sanborn & Douglas Daughaday.

    ► Freitas & Valdes (1999), "The Search for Extraterrestrial Artifacts (SETA)", JBIS, 36, 501:
    ► Luc Arnold (2005), "Transit Lightcurve Signatures of Artificial Objects", ApJ, 627, 534:
    ► Jeanna Bryner (2010), "Odds of Life on Newfound Earth-Size Planet '100 Percent,' Astronomer Says",
    ► David Kipping (2020), "An Objective Bayesian Analysis of Life's Early Start and Our Late Arrival", PNAS, 117, 11995:
    ► Denis Chow (2011), "On the Moon, Flags & Footprints of Apollo Astronauts Won't Last Forever",

    ::Video clips used::
    ► Intro clip are images from NASA's EPIC DSCOVR mission, interpolated by BlueTurn:
    ► Stars time lapse by Ben Vegel:
    ► Radio teleascope timelapse by Alex Cherney and CSIRO:
    ► NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC-Caltech)
    ► Galaxy fly through animation by AA VFX:
    ► Veritas timelapse by Daniel Gall:
    ► Milky Way animation by Stefan Payne-Wardenaar:
    ► Spinning galaxy animation by Huy Trường Nguyễn:
    ► Flying through stars by Wilson Blindado:
    ► Exoplanet animation by ESO/M. Kornmesser:
    ► New York timekapse by Urban VFX:
    ► Earth in 4k by NASA/ESA/M.Kornmesser:
    ► Sand dunes blowing by HD Footage:
    ► Pyramids from AirPano VR:
    ► Easter Island footage by Michael Kohen:
    ► Stonehenge timelapse by Love Great Britain:
    ► Museum tour by ProWalk Tours:
    ► Voyager animations by NASA JPL Caltech:
    ► Galaxy colonization animation by Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback
    ► Outro animation by ESA/Hubble and M. Kornmesser:
    ► Intro/Outro voice over by Carl Sagan "Pale Blue Dot"

    ::Movies/TV scenes used::
    ► Contact (1997) Warner Bros.
    ► Ad Astra (2019) 20th Century Fox
    ► Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) EuropaCorp Distribution
    ► Papillon (1973) Allied Artists
    ► The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) Warner Bros.
    ► Into The Wild (2007) Paramount Vantage
    ► Interstellar (2014) Paramount Pictures
    ► The Time Machine (2002) DreamWorks Pictures

    All music used is licensed by (SS) [] or via Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License (
    ► "Fable" by Stephen Keech licensed via SS
    ► "My Unbelief" by Hill licensed via SS
    ► "Cylinder Five" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Painted Deserts" by Shimmer licensed via SS
    ► "Always Dreaming" by Caleb Etheridge via SS
    ► "Waking Up" by Atlas licensed via SS
    ► "Cylinder Two" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "We Were Never Meant to Live Here" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
    ► "Horizon" by Joachim Heinrich licensed under a CC Attribution license:

    Thumbnail licensed through
  • Runtime : 28:50
  • SETI search for extraterrestrial intelligence life in the universe communication with aliens time capsule communicating across the galaxy interstellar communication intertemporal communication communicating through time one way communication astronomy astrophysics astrobiology david kipping cool worlds


  • jim twisted
    jim twisted   1 days ago

    If aliens are as big an asshole as we are I sure hope they never find us.

  • Skeptical Zack
    Skeptical Zack   2 days ago

    There is a novel from 1980 with this promise. They communicated with the 60’s. It is called Timescape.

  • Alan M
    Alan M   4 days ago

    Love your channel. Carl Sagan fan here.

  • Vahid Sabalani
    Vahid Sabalani   6 days ago

    This romantic idea is not what we have done til now. Ask Africans, Native Americans both in north and south, Chinese, Asian countries being colonized by the same powers who still take their resources with the power of our tech. Look around yourself in USA.We will take over any planet with lower technology than ours. That is the whole plan for those who have the power. Scientists just make the technology for those who have the power.At the end it is new resources we look for .Look our past 300 years so called civilization and how it has gone with Homo Sapiens here in this planet.we kill our own race for resource with wars, slavery and even more wars by the name democracy. Over 50 Millions of civilians killed after the word war II. That's the reality. Don't forget our past history, then it will happen again in planetary scale.

  • Ron
    Ron   1 weeks ago

    I don't think we're alone I think the aliens have capabilities to appear and dissapear

  • Jacob Kreyenbühl
    Jacob Kreyenbühl   1 weeks ago

    Friendly correction : it's pronounced skiapparelli..thx for another beautiful video!

  • Cpvs gvmnt
    Cpvs gvmnt   2 weeks ago

    People looking for meaningful purpose in life.. it's to bring Glory to God. It is sad to me that people are going about not understanding the purpose of life.. as if finding another life in the Cosmos would bring them purpose. Further.. the Bible is clear.. we are not alone..

  • AmblesJambles
    AmblesJambles   2 weeks ago

    You're making me feel like the universe is something like the Akashic Records, all life adds to the whole of knowledge, which is ever increasing over time. I mean, all mysticism aside, if we all feed forward a whole of knowledge, and we ourselves ARE the universe knowing itself then how is that idea not vaguely accurate?

  • Roli Rivelino
    Roli Rivelino   2 weeks ago

    I used to have a hypothesis that each galaxy was only capable of supporting one civilisation at a time. Mainly because of the fact that large parts of the galaxy are pretty inhospitable what with, supernovas, gamma ray bursts and so on.Man, I wish I could talk about this stuff with my friends, most of them just glaze over if I try and engage them with this type of discussion.

  • AlphaMineron
    AlphaMineron   2 weeks ago

    13:17 It'll always be this way... Any reminiscence of life will be washed away by the waves of time, like lines in sand on a beach. There's no purpose in pursuing to be truly immortalized.

  • Willowbear Mindfulness

    Beside the content, I also really like your voice in combination with the music. Very relaxing and calming.

  • DreamskyDance
    DreamskyDance   4 weeks ago

    I think the best way to send a message to potential conscious civilizations in the future is to collectively "get our s**t together" and survive and keep light of consciousness least in Us.If other conscious beings apear through time and very soon go extinct and disapear, we may be first that does not disapear... in turn if we see or meet other Life in the Universe help them persevere and survive as well...Many science fiction stories have some ancient caretaker civilization... what if in reality this is Us.... what if we are "The Ancients" of this galaxy... And when we pass this birthing pains we are living through and will live through next few thousand years, Humanity will learn great deal about Life and everything, will have great Wisdom and help Life keep at it and persevere in the future...

  • CWenterprize Wells
    CWenterprize Wells   1 months ago

    Our body is a vessel our soul lives on to where the river flows internal

  • Raphael Calado
    Raphael Calado   1 months ago

    About the lunar “beacon” during 10 billion years, don’t forget that our own sun may become gigantic in about 4 billion years and engulf the earth and the moon, therefore destroying our beacon for the future.

  • Raphael Calado
    Raphael Calado   1 months ago

    Intelligent life to me always looked like and bizarre phenon rather than the norm, for all we know our kind of intelligence is not necessary, but is also very harmful to the very own circle of life.Our planet is home to a vast number of living beings, and none besides us had developed a society quite like ours, based on speech, history and technology, but they succeeded anyway with many of the most ancient and persistent life forms being simple unicellular beings.To me is jarring that people consider intelligence a certain thing, when it clearly isn’t the prevailing thing in earth’s history, and as I said before, it is quite the opposite, our standard of intelligence seems to lack the finesse of the “natural” world and stirs us to self destruction, while the natural life looks like a fine tuned machine working in equilibrium, much more prone to die out only by natural causes, than by self inflicted ones. What I mean, is that most species tend to live in equilibrium, while us the “intelligent” species are not only capable of self inflicted destruction, but we are prone to it by our own way to live, as history shows.My theory is that intelligence is an aberration within the life circle of a planet rather than the norm. It isn’t inherently to most species, it didn’t bring any improvement to the planet or to most forms of life besides the “intelligent” one. It didn’t proved yet to be better suited to life than any other non intelligent species when we think in the lifespan of our species compared to others. Ultimately it didn’t prove us to be fittest than any other species in the long evolution run.Intelligence maybe is the only way for life to spread itself throughout the galaxy and maybe the universe, but again, nothing in the universe needs life to exist, and the same way we can’t do nothing to improve the world with our civilization values, we can’t improve the Universe by doing anything, as the Universe existence is completely and utterly independent of life and more so of intelligent life for that matter.The only argument I can make for intelligence and for life to exist and to be needed, is that without our scrutiny, the Universe might as well don’t exist, because without intelligent life to look at the universe and try to explain it, what is the reason for it exist? But then again, this is an anthropocentric bias, and the Universe will exist after us as it did before us.

  • Lazy1Lou
    Lazy1Lou   1 months ago

    This human has got a highly evolved consciuosness, very inspiring.

  • Lazy1Lou
    Lazy1Lou   1 months ago

    Probably we will never find life in the outer space, giving evidence that there is a god securing our existence.

  • tabansteintv
    tabansteintv   1 months ago

    What a fantastic video! Thank you for sharing your mind and knowledge with us.

  • KoldCerealKiller
    KoldCerealKiller   1 months ago

    There were three genesis: Venus, Earth, and Mars. Earth is the one that has reminded with life till this day.

  • Daviel gaming
    Daviel gaming   1 months ago

    It is the brilliance of the human imagination. What is it about our human lifetime and the earth we live on that makes communicating with extraterrestrial intelligence of higher priority? While territorial wars continue and capitalistic practices continue to destroy the earth we inhabit, perhaps an inhabitable planet in our galaxy with life and intelligences discovered will, not only remind us that we are not alone but teach us how to preserve our planet and each other.

  • 215dagby
    215dagby   1 months ago

    We might be best off if we were to refrain from contact. We have no earthly clue about the value systems of an alien species and it is foolish to assume their morals are not in conflict with our own. To expect them to be good by our own standards is silly. Our own moral standards as a species have a deal of variance. There’s no telling what sort of variance in the moral compass might exist between us and another intelligent species. To assume that intelligence equates to goodness and niceness in all instances is folly. Just look at Hermann Göring or Uncle Ted, among many others. Not nice people and yet highly intelligent. One of those two would mail you, as a professor, a bomb without any moral qualms over it. We, as a species, can hardly tolerate ourselves sometimes. We war. We kill. We slaughter. Yet we consider ourselves an intelligent species. There’s really no telling what sort of unspeakable horrors might await us if we were to finally stare down an extraterrestrial equal or superior species. Star Trek has put rose colored glasses onto people. Star Trek is hardly a reflection of reality.

  • Jan PhD
    Jan PhD   1 months ago

    There is no other life anywhere in the universe because life, is not special... just ultra rare.

  • Matt
    Matt   1 months ago

    Aluminum. I can’t even try to pronounce it like he does.

  • Saya Ach
    Saya Ach   1 months ago

    That's why we will witness the first human on Mars and so on. We will be the one making the future

  • Christopher Reed
    Christopher Reed   1 months ago

    If we are real why wouldn't we think there's peoples like us stuck light-years from communication just like us ? What are the odds we exist?

  • Subpar
    Subpar   1 months ago

    If the aliens tuned up one day.. and said... look. we have been calling out to you guys for THOUSANDS of years... Not Directly... just moving your people towards a greater understanding of its place in the universe...would you listen to the message they have been sending'?Mushrooms and DMT my friends... and there not aliens.. its higher ups, this universe is a egg made just for us.. and every single consciousness, element, chemical, and emotion is all one giant unit.

  • jerry eddh
    jerry eddh   1 months ago

    we have to accept that our enemy is extinction and that with it may come the death of intelligence in the universe.we must accept that our home is a fish bowl and we are both the fish and the care takers.we must accept that this fish bowl will be destroyed by the sun.until we accept these facts and act accordingly..i see only the inevitable future of a final solitary human on the edge of death and tormented by the wishing we had before they die, beginning our extinction and ending intelligent life in the universe."rising from the mud to scream "i exist" to only return to the mud and never exist again"

  • Robert Devino
    Robert Devino   1 months ago

    I like the nano probes idea! Maybe one hit Tesla in the head and thats where he got his ideas ! LOL!

  • David Popa
    David Popa   1 months ago

    Look..if we'd ever receive some clear alien transmission... should we really expect it is made public?

  • Charlotte Raven
    Charlotte Raven   1 months ago

    The noiseless wound appropriately dry because head optimally meddle without a nonchalant withdrawal. expensive, drunk color

  • abruemmer77
    abruemmer77   1 months ago

    I see the Intro/Outro by Carl Sagan as kind of a spoiler for the idea to communicate indirectly via time-shifted messages - and i guess that was the intention.Well played!

  • Battle Hamster
    Battle Hamster   1 months ago

    There is more Plank Planks than there is Plinko Plankers. Ask Bob Barker.

  • VildhGerar
    VildhGerar   1 months ago

    actually there is more intelligent life out there than you could imagine, we as humans still have much to learn.

  • Axiological Cryptanalyst

    My near-completely out-of-the-hat intuition is that galaxies are 'intelligent life factories' and that there is typically only one per galaxy.The distances 'guarantee' that evolutionarily emergent (and therefore likely aggressive) species cannot mingle until they cross certain development thresholds.I think this is best. It is not good if we come to believe the intelligent life is common and therefore treat it as such. Scarcity increases value and we need to value each other. We also need to have our aggressive drives and ethics well under control before the time of contact.

  • kambium1
    kambium1   1 months ago

    Really? What about the Pentagon?

  • Patrick Nelson
    Patrick Nelson   1 months ago

    “It’s as if we never existed.” Yah, well… I’m thankful that at least we did. 😊 Even more reason to preserve what we have.

  • Pura Vida
    Pura Vida   1 months ago

    13:20 It may not be possible for us to exist in other, different cosmic epoch because the physical conditions in the surrounding space may be different from the current ones. The rarity of life seems very questionable. Our galaxy is a moving spiral that started off from a source that was energy-dense so it attracted a lot of stardust.. )) Just like a swirl of water going down the drain. If a drop of paint falls into it the paint will spread throughout the swirling funnel. Same thing here.