“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.
Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.
LISA, the European Space Agency’s planned Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, scheduled for launch in 2034. will comprise three spacecraft, arranged in a triangular formation, 2.5 million kilometers apart designed to function as an enormous, orbiting gravitational wave detector. With only a minor technological tweak LISA, could also function as a detector for signals broadcast by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, according to Marek Abramowicz of Sweden’s University of Gothenburg.
Perhaps someday in the near future the first signal from an alien intelligence will be detected by artificial intelligence. The future of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for finding exoplanets hidden in datasets was paved by one such algorithm developed by the University of Texas at Austin in partnership with Google in 2019 to probe the entire Kepler 2 data set of approximately 300,000 stars. The method is equally applicable to Kepler’s successor planet-hunting mission, TESS, which launched in April 2018.
“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species.