We are still searching for alien life, but we should be aware that aliens might also keep an eye on us.
There’s a new study that shows that more than 1000 nearby starts find are placed perfectly to find life on Earth.
Lisa Kaltenegger, the author of the study, stated: “If observers were out there searching [from planets orbiting these stars], they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of our Pale Blue Dot. And we can even see some of the brightest of these stars in our night sky without binoculars or telescopes.”
Astronomers found out that there are more than 4000 exoplanets that were discovered with the help of the “transit method.” This one detects any brightness dips that are caused by an orbiting world crossing its host star’s face from the perspective of the observer.
They used it with the help of the Kepler space telescope, and its work is continued by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
Soon enough, astronomers will be able to search the atmosphere of the transit planets for signs of life. This will be one of the tasks made by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (which costs about $9.8 billion). It is set to be launched next year. Another one that will make such work would be the Giant Magellan Telescope.
In this new study, the author, together with Joshua Pepper, wrote about the Earth being the target of many transiting-planet surveys.
Astronomers inspected the data coming from TESS and the Gaia spacecraft. They are looking to start in 100 parsecs – that’s around 326 light-years – which are in line with the eliptic, the plane of the orbit of our planet around the sun.