(ORDO NEWS) — A team of astronomers from Harvard began work on a project to search for alien technology signatures – any manifestation of technological progress that scientifically proves the presence of highly developed life in the past or present.
This fundamentally new and extremely promising project received direct funding from NASA . This has not happened for almost 30 years.
“Technosignatures are beacons that can point to advanced extraterrestrial technology. These technologies may be similar to ours or they may be something more sophisticated. Technological signatures include industrial atmospheric pollution, city lights, photovoltaic cells [solar panels], megastructures, or satellite constellations,” commented Avi Loeb, chairman of the Harvard astronomical department.
Will we find aliens?
Loeb and his colleagues are sure that the speed of the discovery of exoplanets, which is growing every year, brings us closer to the day when we find “brothers in mind.”
“Any past searches for extraterrestrial intelligence have come up with questions:“ Where to look? What stars do our telescopes aim at? ” Now we know where to look. We know about the existence of thousands of exoplanets, some of which are located in the habitable zone of their parent stars. Life could have been born there. The rules of the game have changed, ”said Loeb.
The first stage of the study involves scanning the sky for signs of using extraterrestrial solar panels and traces of technogenic pollution of the atmosphere.
“The closest star to the Earth, Proxima Centauri, has in its orbit the planet Proxima Centauri b, which is considered potentially inhabitable. This planet is in tidal capture [all the time facing the star on the same side] due to which one side receives an abundance of light and energy, and the second is in eternal darkness. If a hypothetical civilization wants to illuminate or warm up the night side, then they will decide to place photovoltaic cells on the day side to accumulate and transfer energy to the other half of the planet,” added Loeb.
When searching for specific wavelengths, astronomers hope to detect starlight reflecting off the surface of possible solar panels.
Gases that pollute the atmospheres of other planets may indicate the existence of intelligent life. Loeb is sure that finding molecules of artificial origin is not so difficult, because we ourselves create them in large numbers, polluting the earth’s atmosphere. We have, so to speak, “rich experience”.
“Are we alone in the universe?” Even if we are alone now, were we alone in the past? Science wants to find answers to these questions,” concluded Loeb.
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