Earth Is Viewable From Other Solar Systems: Are We Being Watched?

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An artist's rendering of the Earth and sun seen from space. Astronomers on Earth can detect other worlds when far away stars flicker as an orbiting planet passes in front of them, partly blocking our view. New research asks how many alien worlds might have been able to detect Earth in this way. (OpenSpace / American Museum of Natural History)

If Aliens Exist in These 1,700 Solar Systems, They Can Probably See Earth

By Alex Fox/Smithsonianmag.com

Astronomers on Earth can discover far away planets by watching the light of distant stars and waiting to see if that light ever wavers as an orbiting alien world passes by. But as Nadia Drake reports for National Geographic, a new study turns a hypothetical extraterrestrial telescope back on Earth.

Astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger of Cornell University, lead author of the study published this week in the journal Nature, posed the question: “Which stars could see us as the aliens, as the transiting planet where the Earth blocks out light from the star?”

By analyzing the shifting cosmic lines of sight for more than 300,000 stars within about 300 light years of our sun, Kaltenegger and her co-author identified more than 2,000 stars with the right vantage to have detected Earth sometime in the last 5,000 years—or in the next 5,000 years to come.

For example, a mere 12 lightyears away from us there are two planets roughly the size of Earth winding their way around Teegarden’s star, reports Nell Greenfieldboyce for NPR. By astronomers’ reckoning, these worlds could be hospitable enough to potentially support life.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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5 COMMENTS

  1. “a mere 12 lightyears away”…it amazes me how people minimize that. The Sun is 93 million miles from Earth. It takes light, or electromagnetic waves, 8.333 minutes to transit that distance. If you scale 93 million miles down to one inch, accordingly, that 12 light years then scales down to about 12 miles. The reality of UFO’s notwithstanding, unless “aliens are able to travel through interstellar space at light speed (at which the mass of their craft approaches infinity), or a very high percentage of it, it would take many human lifetimes to make the journey (one way). The fastest spacecraft launched from Earth were the Voyagers. Launched in 1979, these craft are about 11 light minutes distant from Earth today.

    • I guess you meant 11 light-hours, since it takes just over 5 hours for the light from the Sun to reach Pluto, and the Voyagers are now in the interstellar space.

  2. As the ever quotable Hilaire Belloc says in his essay on “The Barbarian,” “…we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond, and on these faces there are no smiles.” He refers not to non-existent aliens but to demons from hell, of which there is in fact a good amount of evidence. The RKM even communicate with them and consider Lucifer (Satan) their god.

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