I have a more or less primitive (They can not talk to other races nor was any encoding or morsing or smoke signals invented) alien race the MLPARs (10000 individuals), which was parted in half and one half was deported to an earthlike (5000 ind.) planet and the others were kept on their home planet (5000 ind.) by a further developed alien race the FDARs for an experiment.

The FDARs were eliminated by decadence which caused climatic changes and civil wars on their home planets and their experiment got forgotten.

Once a year the MLPARs still on the earthlike planet find together and try to contact any spectant to bring them home to their loved ones. (The MLPARs have a very high live expectancy and the females have their fertile days very rarely so the ones who where deported are still living except 10 or 20 and 10 or 20 have been born on their new "home")

To contact all the space traffic, they form a huge aurora which would be visible from space and different from the natural auroras, in hope that anyone realizes it and comes to bring them back home.

Now my question is, is it possible for a live form, to have evolved to be able to create auroras in a group of around 5000 individuals?


  • $\begingroup$ Yep, all the answers are going to be that you could create one but if they can, then they should be more efficient ways of communicating with space traffic. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Aug 24 '16 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Necessity Cause of this, I ask for a non-techological way to do it, in order to be limited to just the aurora and as I also mention the race is more or less primitive, I should specify that, they are not able to send any encoded signals to outer space which would be understood by the recievers. They are like apes for example, if they were lost on a isle and see someone passing by they are not able to talk to them they can just shout as loud as possible, and the race i'm speaking of should be just able to make an aurora and not to talk to the passerby. $\endgroup$ – if-trubite Aug 24 '16 at 8:56

Not by technological means, which are the only way we have to create an aurora. As JDługosz said, they just don't have the population needed to run the industries.

Since they are very long-lived, and breed very slowly, they will also evolve very slowly. So they can't have evolved an ability to create an aurora while living on their current world, because almost all of them are the same ones who were moved. It takes many hundreds to thousands of generations to evolve significantly.

So if you want them to be able to do this, they need to have had the ability already. A biological ability to create auroras is not actually very plausible, and if they have it, it will imply other things about their society.

The way to create a aurora, while based on the surface of the planet in question, is to bombard the planet's ionosphere with high-powered, high-frequency radio waves. There has only been one human project to do this, HAARP, which could create small auroras.

However, the calculations are not promising. HAARP could emit 3.6MW of radio-frequency energy, and it didn't create much of an aurora. There are only 5000 of your creatures, so just to match HARRP they'll have to emit about 720 Watts of radio-frequency energy each. That's a lot of power, and biological systems don't tend to run at radio frequencies anyway, so efficiency is probably going to be fairly low.

If they are to do this, they will need to be pretty big creatures. A human can sustain about a tenth of that as muscular effort, although highly-trained athletes can produce about 900 Watts briefly. So your creatures are going to need an energy budget of several times that of a human athlete to produce enough radio power.

It's very implausible that they'd evolve this ability without some more practical use for it than creating auroras. The obvious application for a radio transmission ability is communication, but for that, they'd also need to have radio reception ability. So they probably have very effective long-range communications, and since there are so few of them, everyone in their society probably knows everyone else. The implications of this are too lengthy to go into here, but they may not suit your story.

Presumably their aurora is modulated in some way and obviously artificial, so that it will be noticeable to space travellers? It will only be noticeable to travellers in the same solar system, and there are a hundred billion or so of those in the galaxy, so the odds of anyone being around to notice it, given that it only happens one per year, are really poor.

Is it possible that these creatures were made by some advanced race, rather than evolving? That would make their long lifespans and radio abilities rather more plausible.

  • $\begingroup$ Hell yes, a great Idea ! maybe they were designed as an attraction for a zoo or as communication interfaces and the experiment of the further advanced race was to check if they were also durable under harder clima before selling them to other races. $\endgroup$ – if-trubite Aug 24 '16 at 9:05
  • $\begingroup$ and about the evolution it was not good enough specified, they would have evolved yet to this state. The Aging and mating cycle was only so the Tribe would be still nearly the same so they would still miss their relatives on the other planet. Afast fluctuation of individuals would have made the will to go home illogical as they would have never known any of the individuals which were on the other planet. $\endgroup$ – if-trubite Aug 24 '16 at 9:12

If they can form auroras, then they can communicate with space-travelers

Naturally forming Auroras are the light that forms when particles from the Sun crash into our atmosphere at a speed of about 400 kilometers per second, from when the Sun throws out part of itself to an average of about one and a half billion tons at the time. This is usually not a something that one achieves on a whim.

Now mankind has created auroras too! But the method by which we did that was to launch a rocket 400 km into space and detonate a nuclear device that was 100 times more powerful than that over Hiroshima.

If that is what it takes to make an aurora, and your intrepid tribes can achieve this, then they will have no problems at all using simple radio to talk to space travellers.

Apart from blowing nukes in space: no, there is no way a tribe of 5 000 individuals can create an aurora.


No. You would not have enough people to run the industries necessary to build the technology to do anything like that.

Without building powerful machines (and without magic) there’s just no way they can do that.

  • $\begingroup$ I search for a way without technologies i did not specify this enough, also i changed the tag from reality-check to science-based as it is more suitable for the answers i would like to have. thanks for the contribution! $\endgroup$ – if-trubite Aug 24 '16 at 8:32
  • $\begingroup$ All three of those links have technology. $\endgroup$ – Necessity Aug 24 '16 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Necessity I know and these technologies could bring ideas for how an organism could do the task. I show links to technology as there is no animal how did this task yet and therefore no link to such thing. $\endgroup$ – if-trubite Aug 24 '16 at 8:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.