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Video: New Study Examines How Visible Earth is From Alien Worlds

By Tim Binnall

An intriguing new study offers a fascinating alternative take on the search for alien life by trying to determine just how visible the Earth would be to other civilizations looking for exoplanets. Applying the same techniques used by scientists to detect other worlds in space, astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger and physicist Joshua Pepper reportedly found a whopping 1,004 stars similar to the sun which are around 300 light years from Earth and could possess planets such as our own revolving around them.

From their vantage point, alien-hunting denizens of those theoretical worlds would be able to see the Earth cross in front of the sun, thus confirming its existence as, to them, an exoplanet. Beyond that, based on our current ability to study such worlds, Kaltenegger explained, "they would be able to see signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere," making our planet a prime target for a location where life may exist.

"If we found a planet with a vibrant biosphere, we would get curious about whether or not someone is there looking at us too," she mused, suggesting that should the Earth have already been seen by an extraterrestrial civilization that it has likely merited considerable attention due to the high probability of life here. Setting aside concerns that we're being watched by aliens at this very moment, Kaltenegger noted that their research also works as a veritable "star map of where we should look first" if we're interested in locating ETs that can find us.

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