October 22, 2021

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How to spot aliens? Look at Earth, scientists propose.

4 min read

If astronomers were to observe Earth from another solar system, could they tell that our planet is teeming with life? By examining Earth in the same way that we look at exoplanets — planets orbiting other stars — we might improve our chances of detecting alien organisms on distant worlds, researchers recently suggested.

Since 1999, a process for spotting exoplanets, known as the transit method, has revealed thousands of worlds by measuring fleeting dips in the brightness of the stars that the planets orbit. No one knows whether or not these worlds host life, but if scientists were to peer at Earth using the transit method, they would likely spot definitive signatures of life.

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