A new study by the NASA-funded Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life (SETI) project details how future NASA missions might look for technosignatures. of advanced alien civilizations like. Research raises many possibilities, from UFO impact sites on other planets and aliens “lurking” on asteroids to building radio telescopes on the far side of the Sun. moon.
NASA scientists have proposed many missions to search for extraterrestrial life. (Image: Wikipedia)
The search for signs of technology, evidence for technology use or industrial activity in other regions of the universe, is largely unfinished, the study says, but humanity could detect something. Something surprising without spending extra on it.
After almost stopping looking for signs of technology in 1993 due to pressure from politicians, NASA became increasingly involved in SETI.
Published in the peer-reviewed journal Acta Astronautica, the study includes a list of what NASA missions can detect “observable evidence of extraterrestrial life” in the universe.
Perhaps most intriguingly, the paper suggested that alien interstellar probes might have been sent into the Solar System long ago, perhaps during the times the stars came close to the Sun. most heavenly.
At a distance of more than 4.2 light-years, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun today, but about every 100,000 years a star comes close to the Sun and is only a light-year away. Therefore, the article argues that alien technologies have “tens of thousands” of opportunities to reach our solar system.
The article states: “Such artifacts may have been drawn into stable orbits by celestial bodies in the Solar system, or they may even have crashed onto planets, asteroids or the Moon. Old surface bodies like those of the Moon or Mars may still show evidence of such collisions.”
The article proposes 9 missions to hunt for signs of alien technology including:
Mission 1: Search for collision sites on the Moon, Mars, Mercury or Ceres
Because the surfaces of these places are so ancient and unaltered, evidence of extraterrestrial impacts or artifacts can be preserved for millions to billions of years. Therefore, we should thoroughly probe the surface of the Moon and Mars.
Mission 2: Search for pollution using the Earth as a model
According to a recent publication by the same authors, the James Webb Space Telescope can find CFC gas – evidence of civilization – around exoplanets if the gas is 10 times more common than on Earth. Earth. It can also find nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is created as a by-product of combustion or nuclear technology.
Mission 3: Search for the Dyson spheres
The “waste heat mission” to search for technological waste heat will require a survey of the sky with a space telescope sensitive in the infrared range.
Mission 4: Build a radio telescope on the far side of the Moon
The search for signs of technology has so far been conducted primarily through radio astronomy — and this will continue through the Breakthrough Listen project.
However, if we build a telescope on the far side of the Moon, it will not be contaminated by human radio waves. So it’s super responsive and makes searching easier.
Mission 5: Search for ‘hiders’ on asteroids
Maybe aliens lurking on near-Earth objects (NEOs), maybe even asteroids orbiting the Sun with Earth, are watching us and we need to find them. .
Mission 6: Understanding Interstellar Objects
It is not possible to determine the exact nature and origin of the two celestial bodies passing through the solar system, ‘Oumuamua and 2I/Borisov. So we should have a mission ready to launch when the next target comes up, and that could be as soon as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory sky surveys begin in late 2021. .
Mission 7: Search in existing data
We can search through existing data such as objects in orbit around exoplanets, pollution in exoplanet atmospheres, and nighttime illumination on exoplanets.
Mission 8: Search for lasers in the sky
With a single instrument, we can scan the sky for short laser pulses in the visible light range and in the broad spectrum of infrared.
Mission 9: Studying small asteroids
Asteroids less than 10 meters in diameter may be man-made, but we have never seen them. Anything with a very flat metal surface will have a high reflectivity and polarize the reflected light.