Few topics have captured people’s imaginations as much as the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Some scientists say city lights are the key to finding aliens.
The study suggests that extraterrestrial cities could be detectable.
A study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Princeton University builds on existing technology to detect lights emitted by cities on distant planets. This assumes, of course, that the aliens have large cities with lots of light. They would be similar to humans in that they need light to see at night. Maybe.
The proposed search would initially focus on Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), which occupy a distant region of the solar system, well beyond Pluto. Several have been discovered and it is believed that there are thousands of them. Over a thousand planets have been detected outside our solar system, and some are quite large. They are all too far away to be studied with current telescopes.
Of the KBOs discovered so far, all are smaller than Pluto and only receive weak sunlight. The search for extraterrestrial cities suggests that light from major cities on the night side of these objects could be detected by telescopes and analyzed by spectroscopes to determine whether or not the light is artificially produced. It is true that all this is not won in advance.
Detection of such lights on large planets outside our solar system will have to wait for more advanced technology.
SETI still lacks evidence of extraterrestrial life
SETI – the search for extraterrestrial life – began in the late 1950s. SETI searches for extraterrestrial life by studying star systems that are good candidates for having planets that could harbor life as we know it. . SETI “listens” for signs of life, assuming some civilizations will use radio transmissions to communicate, but that’s a daunting task.
The conditions necessary for human life require very special conditions. Nevertheless, there are several billion stars in the Milky Way alone. Even if the odds are slim, there could well be a large number of planets harboring intelligent life.
In 1977, one of the SETI stations picked up a radio signal whose pattern met the expectations of the project, because it went far beyond a fortuitous signal. It lasted 72 seconds and was determined to originate from beyond the solar system. Now called the “WOW signal,” it’s the singular moment of SETI’s real and unexplained excitement. Unfortunately, it was never detected again.
Drake’s equation predicts abundant extraterrestrial life
In 1961, astronomer Frank Drake developed what is now called the Drake Equation, which sought to estimate the probability of extraterrestrial life in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. The equation puts the number of technologically advanced civilizations within the galaxy at 10,000.
Although the Drake equation is still frequently cited, the variables it contains are based on best guesses, for example, “the fraction of life sites where intelligence develops.” This fraction is not really known.
As such, the Drake equation likely lacks predictive ability and could be inaccurate one way or the other. Nevertheless, it provides a framework for continuing the search for extraterrestrials.
Stephen Hawking has a negative view of extraterrestrial life
Humans have sent signals out into space to star systems that are good “candidates” for intelligent life. These signals serve as a kind of beacon to distant extraterrestrials to tell them “We are here”.
In 1972 and 1973, the United States sent two space probes out of the solar system with patches offering information about humanity and the location of Earth. Dr. Frank Drake participated in the project with popular astronomer and author Carl Sagan.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking surprised many in 2010 when he announced that humans had better give up the practice of trying to attract the attention of extraterrestrial civilizations. If they exist, he thinks they might be so advanced that they would view humanity as an insignificant life form and Earth as a place to be exploited.
Citizens of Earth have no reason to believe that extraterrestrial life would be friendly, as ET Extraterrestrials might view life on Earth with the same disrespect humans give to an ordinary housefly. Orson Welles’ 1938 radio production could become a reality.
The White House issues an official opinion on extraterrestrial life
The US government has recently responded to petitions asking the government to “officially recognize an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race.” The response was posted on the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy blog. The official position is that the government is not aware of any evidence indicating the existence of extraterrestrial life.