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Study Shows 1,000 Solar Systems Have Perfect View of Earth

Study Shows 1,000 Solar Systems Have Perfect View of Earth
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 23 October 2020 02:47 PM

About 1,000 solar systems within 300 million light years of ours have what researchers describe as a perfect angle to view the Earth, according to a recent study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

Lisa Kaltenegger, the director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute and the study’s co-author, notes that for this study, she and Lehigh University astronomer Joshua Pepper decided to “reverse the viewpoint and ask from which systems other observers could see Earth as a transiting planet.”

She adds that, “Signs of a biosphere in the atmosphere of transiting Earth, such as the combination of oxygen or ozone with the reducing gas methane, could have been detected for about 2 billion years in Earth’s history.”

Because of this, “If observers were out there searching, 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.”

The researchers determined that 1,004 solar systems match the Earth’s ecliptic, which is the plane of the planet’s orbit around the sun. This allows exoplanets, planets outside of our solar system, that travel on the same plane in their orbit to view the Earth. 

“Only a very small fraction of exoplanets will just happen to be randomly aligned with our line of sight so we can see them transit,” said Pepper, according to Study Finds. “But all of the thousand stars we identified in our paper in the solar neighborhood could see our Earth transit the sun, calling their attention.”

Kaltenegger added, “If we’re looking for intelligent life in the universe, that could find us and might want to get in touch. We’ve just created the star map of where we should look first.”

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About 1,000 solar systems within 300 million light years of ours have what researchers describe as a perfect angle to view the Earth, according to a recent study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters...
Space, Astronomy, Science, Study, Alien Life
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2020-47-23
Friday, 23 October 2020 02:47 PM
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