- The Chicago Astronomer -
Copyright 2004-2014 All rights reserved by Joseph Guzman Administrator/Founder/Chief Astronomer.
All text and images are the property of the original authors/artists and shall
not be used without permission.
When it comes to searching for ET, current efforts have been almost exclusively placed in picking up a radio signal – just a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Consider for a moment just how much lighting we here on Earth produce and how our “night side” might appear as viewed from a telescope on another planet. If we can assume that alternate civilizations would evolve enjoying their natural lighting, wouldn’t it be plausible to also assume they might develop artificial lighting sources as well?
Is it possible for us to peer into space and spot artificially illuminated objects “out there?” According to a new study done by Abraham Loeb (Harvard), Edwin L. Turner (Princeton), the answer is yes.
For gathering light, the array of Earthly telescopes now at science’s disposal are able to confidently observe a light source comparable in overall brightness to a large city — up to a certain distance. Right now astronomers are able to measure the orbital parameters of Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) with the greatest of precision by their observed flux and computing their changing orbital distances.