Depending on where we are in space, it is likely that the alien civilizations of 2,034 conscious star systems are most likely watching us.
For centuries, scientists have been interested in the search for intelligent life forms beyond our planet. Despite conspiracy theories and fictional constructions about other worlds, serious research has been undertaken to answer this question. A group of astronomers may have important clues to help solve this mystery.
How many extraterrestrial civilizations can observe the Earth?
It is not new to astronomical and astrophysical observers that there are thousands of exoplanets in our galaxy with suitable conditions for life as we know it. This means that there is indeed a great possibility of other intelligent civilizations evolving within the confines of the universe.
However, until now, this principle has only been assumed to be a probability, as there is no scientific evidence to support it. A team of astronomers has broken with this trend and found more than 2,000 solar systems in relative proximity to Earth that could have been watching us for millennia. The key lies at certain points in our planet’s orbit around the sun.
If there were such intelligent galactic neighbors, says astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger of the Carl Sagan Institute Cornell University , it’s only natural that they would have had us in their sights for a long time.” “From the exoplanet point of view,” the expert said, “[we] are aliens.”
Optimal observation conditions
Kaltenegger’s theory is based on data from the Gaia satellite observatory. The astronomer is certain of finding reliable evidence proof of any extraterrestrial civilization that is observing us, based on the most accurate 3D model of the Milky Way so far.
Although it may seem like a persecution complex, Kaltenegger’s research starts from a solid foundation, according to the article published in Nature:
“When an exoplanet orbits a star, if that orbit is properly aligned, it will pass between us and its host star, which is known as a transit,” This creates a very specific light curve signature as the starlight dims and brightens fractionally due to the exoplanet’s transit he explains to Science Alert.
According to his team’s estimates, worlds with intelligent civilizations could be as massive as Jupiter. That is, if the light is good enough, they not only look at us, but we could observe them as well.
However, “[…] because stars are moving in our dynamic cosmos, that vantage point is won and lost,” the expert says. This means that the conditions for observing both sides must be optimal. According to the results of the study, there are exoplanets that have spent up to 1,000 years at a favourable point. Although this is true, there is no information to prove that we are even remotely interesting to them. Not yet.