Fact #1104: All of our general terrestrial radio and television signals become indistinguishable from background noise at only a few light years away from the Earth, thanks to the inverse square law.

However, direct messages can be sent using amplified power (in a narrow beam), and as a result, will take much longer to degrade. These short bursts are able to reach other star systems just fine, but require specific aim of the transmitter.

Source: http://zidbits.com/2015/11/where-are-all-the-aliens-what-is-fermis-paradox/

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