In a recently-published paper (arxiv – Exoplanet Transits as the Foundation of an Interstellar Communications Network) , Dr. Duncan H. Forgan of St. Andrews University proposed that extra-terrestrial civilizations could be communicating with each other by creating artificial transits of their respective stars. This sort of “galactic internet” could be how advanced species are attempting to signal us right now.
An ETI ’A’ can communicate with ETI ’B’ if B is observing transiting planets in A’s star system, either by building structures to produce artificial transits observable by B, or by emitting signals at B during transit, at significantly lower energy consumption than typical electromagnetic transmission schemes.
This can produce a network of interconnected civilizations, establishing contact via observing each other’s transits. Assuming that civilizations reside in a Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ). Monte Carlo Realization simulations show how the establishment and growth of this network would work and analyze its properties in the context of graph theory.
At any instant, only a few civilizations are correctly aligned to communicate via transits. However, we should expect the true network to be cumulative, where a “handshake” connection at any time guarantees connection in the future via e.g. electromagnetic signals. In all the simulations, the cumulative network connects all civilizations together in a complete network. If civilizations share knowledge of their network connections, the network can be fully complete on timescales of order a hundred thousand years. Once established, this network can connect any two civilizations either directly, or via intermediate civilizations, with a path much less than the dimensions of the GHZ.