The Alien Observatory –“First Biological Exoplanet -A Pale Blue Dot- Observed”

The Alien Observatory --"First 'Biological' Exoplanet -A Pale Blue Dot- Observed"


“You know, our sun looks just like thousands of other stars in the sky. You’d never guess that there are planets going around it, and that one of those planets has people who consider themselves very intelligent. There would be no way of knowing that,” said Cornell University icon, astronomer Carl Sagan, in a 1973 interview with Rolling Stone, long before Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the first discovery of a planet outside our solar system, an exoplanet, orbiting a solar-type star in our home galaxy, the Milky Way in 1995. The planet, 51 Pegasi b, a gaseous ball comparable with the solar system’s biggest gas giant, Jupiter was detected at the Haute-Provence Observatory in southern France, using custom-made instruments.


The Alien Observatory–“Advanced Civilization on Another Planet Should Be Generating Electromagnetic Signals”



Could there be another planet in the universe with a society at the same stage of technological advancement as ours? Astrophysics initially wasn’t Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne physicist Claudio Grimaldi’s thing; he was interested more in the physics of condensed matter. Working at EPFL’s Laboratory of Physics of Complex Matter, his research involved calculating the probabilities of carbon nanotubes exchanging electrons. But then he wondered: If the nanotubes were stars and the electrons were signals generated by extraterrestrial societies, could we calculate the probability of detecting those signals more accurately?


The Alien Observatory –“The Mystery of Where Alien Life is Hiding Deepens”




“After searching the skies for Earthlike planets for centuries, cosmologists have, in the last two decades, broken open the cosmic piñata. Today they estimate as many as 500 billion billion sunlike stars, with 100 billion billion Earthlike planets. The more we learn about the universe, the more absurd it would seem if all but one of those bodies were bereft of life. To my mind, this is both the least likely answer to Fermi’s Paradox and the only one that fits all the evidence currently available to astrophysicists.”



The Alien Observatory: “Alternative Earths” –Detecting Seasonal Variations on Exoplanets


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Scientists are proposing seasonality of atmospheric ozone as a sensitive indicator of life in low-oxygen planets: “We are particularly excited about the prospect of characterizing oxygen fluctuations at the low levels we would expect to find on an early version of Earth,” says Timothy Lyons, a professor of biogeochemistry in University of Calfornia, Riverside, and director of the Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center. “Seasonal variations as revealed by ozone would be most readily detectable on a planet like Earth was billions of years ago, when most life was still microscopic and ocean dwelling.”


The Alien Observatory: “Signals of Extinct Extraterrestrial Civilizations –Echo Throughout the Milky Way”



“The signals will be from the civilization as it was,” said Frank Drake, creator of the famous Drake Equation. “It is not a remote possibility — it is a high probability — that signals we receive will be from a “civilization that no longer exists.”