December 12, 2011 - As powerful space
telescopes seek out Earth-like planets, and SETI radio telescopes listen for transmissions from aliens, physical proof for smart extraterrestrials may be proper in our backyard.
I'm not chatting about flying saucers or oddball historical artifacts attributed to visits by so-referred to as "space gods," nevertheless. As a substitute, I'm hunting for some thing as mundane as the pieces of interstellar probes that could have visited our solar system on numerous occasions more than geologic time.
Evaluation: Are Alien
Artifacts in Our Solar System?
If technological extraterrestrial civilizations are common in our galaxy, then they ought to have the wherewithal and curiosity to ship robotic probes to other star systems. We presently have five star-bound spacecraft destined to roam the galaxy eternally: two Pioneer probes, a pair of Voyagers, and the New Horizons craft now dashing towards Pluto.
The aliens' motivations could be the very same as ours if we identified an Earth-like globe nearby, there would be an inevitable wish to ship an unmanned craft to see what types of creatures are dwelling there. We'd have a burning curiosity to behold how the power of biological evolution has performed out among the stars.
Evaluation: Could Kepler Detect Alien Artifacts?
Seeking for alien "calling cards" in the solar system is not a new thought. It has been popularized in quite a few science fiction stories and films. In Arthur C. Clarke's 1951 brief story The Sentinel, astronauts come upon an alien-built pyramid on the moon that stays inscrutable.
A modern paper by Jacob Haqq-Misra and Ravi Kumar Kopparapu of Pennsylvania State University normally requires a new seem at this twist on the Fermi Paradox: "Where Are They?"
The authors propose that an alien probe could be as modest as a car, but no greater than a small-sized house. (All of the reconnaissance images below of lunar and Mars landers match that scale.)
SLIDE SHOW: Top 10 Locations to Locate Alien Life
Undoubtedly, for the propulsion demands of interstellar travel the much less substantial -- hence smaller sized -- the payload, the much better. But finding it amongst our planets would be as hard as finding a needle on a football area covered in three feet of hay, say the authors.
The researchers created an equation that can be applied to a part of the quantity of the solar system and decide whether or not adequate seeking has been carried out to rule out any E.T. souvenirs.
They conclude: "Extraterrestrial artifacts may exist in the solar system without our information basically since we have not nevertheless searched adequately.