Are aliens picking up my baby monitor?

We have a baby monitor running 24/7, as well as a baby camera most of the time on the crib. I don’t know what they use (radio waves?), and they only have about 100 yard range, but it still makes me wonder if some of those waves are escaping into space.

I know that supposedly TV can be picked up now 75 light years away, so assuming aliens have the technology, would they also be able to pickup my baby monitor? Or could humans in the future possibly pickup these signals?

Doubtful. Even at only 4.5 light-years, we ourselves could not intercept our most powerful commercial TV or radio broadcasts given our current level of technology. The fact that space itself is very noisy throughout the radio spectrum doesn’t help any–if the background noise level on the frequency you are trying to receive is higher than the signal itself, no amount of technology is going to extract it.

I don’t believe that TV can be picked up 75 light years away. There are 3 main reasons.

  1. After you get out of the local area there are more than one station broadcasting with the same frequency. So They will interfere with each other making is impossible to decode one station.

  2. TV stations are not broad casting very much power. The power falls off with the square of the distance from the antenna. so at 75 light years aways the power will be to low to find the signal.

  3. There is fair amount of radio noise in the universe so 75 light years out this will be much greater than the TV signal noise from the earth. I would be really surprised if that far away you could tell there was any radio broadcasts from earth let alone decode them.

Your baby monitor will suffer all of these as well and it broadcasts power is less than a Watt of power compared to a TV station of around 100,000 Watts.

Timely news article.

Fixed link.

As an aside though, remember that it’s quite possible that your neighbors are picking up your baby monitor. There aren’t a whole lot of frequencies in use for those things, so if your neighbors had a baby recently as well, and happen to have the same model & brand, they could easily pick up your transmissions. So don’t talk trash about them in the same room.

Not unless we discover how to travel faster than light. Those signals are traveling at the speed of light. Even if in the future we are able to build spacecraft that can travel at relativitic speeds we’d never be able to catch up with those signals.

Interesting and perfectly timed article! I thought this bit was the most relevant:

I guess though my thinking was that if aliens were really really advanced, was there the possibility of them picking up my baby monitor. Or if humans could one day go faster than light, catch up to the signals, and pick them up :slight_smile:

Similarly, I’ve always wondered if I could be detected here on earth by aliens with a super-powered telescope light years away.

The first electronic TV signal transmission apparently took place in 1934. Anyone located 75 light years from earth still has a while to wait before it arrives.

Hmm. I wonder if we could turn, say, the Eiffel Tower, into The Mother of All Rabbit Ears? :smiley:

Works both ways. Once we picked up a neighbor’s cordless phone conversation on our baby monitor. Nothing juicy, though.

There were mechanical transmissions in the late 1920s. Still, the idea of Hitler being the first example of humanity seen by aliens cracks me up.

Hey, cute baby!

Heck, the aliens can pick up your baby monitor, then find your kid years later and show up looking just like you!

:: twiddles knobs on Enormously-Advanced Receiver ::

Hey, what are you feeding the kid? That’s not what you had last week!

:: twiddles knobs some more ::

Sorry, my mistake. We’re picking up the Changs from West Beijing again. Ni hao!

Aliens might be picking up your baby monitor or your monitor might be picking up sounds from The Unknown. It is called EVP and Thomas Edison invented it.

EVP is pure crap.

“Invented” is probably the appropriate word to use, at least.

From wikipedia

So I agree with Q.E.D., but can we be a little nicer to the newbies?

Edison invented that, too.