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Radio waves from Earth have reached dozens of stars

When transiting exoplanets block starlight, part of that light is filtered through the atmosphere. Energy and light interact with the molecules and atoms of that planet, and as light reaches the astronomical telescope, scientists can determine if it is interacting with chemicals such as oxygen or methane.

The combination of the two is, says Kaltenegger, a life imprint.

“What’s really interesting is that people could see that Earth was an habitable planet for about 2 billion years [ago], due to the accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere, ”she says.

The idea of ​​studying transit to find out if we’re on someone else’s radar isn’t really new. Kaltenegger attributed much of his inspiration to a plan by the SETI institute to search for extraterrestrial intelligence in the 1960s.

In 1960, a radio astronomer named Frank D. Drake was the first person to try to discover it interstellar radio transmission, focusing on two stars 11 light-years away and similar in age to our sun. Although that attempt was unsuccessful, scientists and amateur enthusiasts have since continued to look for such signals.

But whether the signals we send pass is a completely different matter. In a new study, Kaltenegger and Faherty reported that artificial radio waves had already flooded the 75 closest stars on their list.

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Although humans have been sending radio waves for about 100 years, it is nothing compared to Earth’s billions of years of planetary evolution.

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