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Can We Detect Alien Civilizations from Their Space Junk?

13 Mar 2018, 16:00 UTC
Can We Detect Alien Civilizations from Their Space Junk?
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Title: Possible Photometric Signatures of Moderately Advanced Civilizations: The Clarke Exobelt
Author: Hector Socas-Navarro
First Author’s Institution: University of La Laguna, Spain
Status: Accepted to ApJ
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
The detection of extraterrestrial intelligence is a quest that has fascinated astronomers since we first realized that there were worlds beyond our own.
Listening projects, like SETI@home and Breakthrough Listen, look for possible signals from other civilizations. Such a discovery would unequivocally prove that we are not alone. However, in order to efficiently transmit a message across interstellar space, a civilization would likely beam it as tightly as possible towards its destination. That means that we wouldn’t be able to eavesdrop if we weren’t in line with the beam.
Another possible detection method is analyzing an exoplanet’s atmosphere with spectroscopy. As a planet passes in front of its star, a portion of the light from that star will be absorbed by ...

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