A new scientific report suggests that there are 29 planets in our cosmic neighbourhood where alien life could potentially see and hear evidence of humans on Earth, based on humanity’s own techniques for studying the universe.
The report was published Wednesday by two New York-based astronomers in the journal Nature, in an effort to narrow down our own search for alien life among the stars. It doesn’t attempt to prove that anyone is actually out there listening, or that they’d want to hear from us if they were. The report simply tries to determine where our most likely alien audiences would be.
The authors assume that aliens would be able to spot Earth by seeing its faint shadow as it transits in front of the sun — a technique that we’ve used to find many Earth-like worlds to date.
“One way we find planets is if they block out part of the light from their host star,” Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University and co-author of the article, told The Guardian. “We asked, ‘Who would we be the aliens for, if somebody else was looking?’ There is this tiny sliver in the sky where other star systems have a cosmic front seat to find Earth as a transiting planet.”
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