Astronomers created what alien astronomers would see if they saw Earth

Earth has got its own 'fingerprint' so astronomers can use it to cross reference exoplanets outside of our own solar system.

Published Thu, Aug 29 2019 3:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:47 AM CST

Humans will forever be on this discovery chase of finding life outside of our own planet, and to do that we must invent the instruments that will make it much easier to detect potential life on other planets. Astronomers from the McGill University have just taken that step in the right direction.

Astronomers created what alien astronomers would see if they saw Earth |

These two McGill University students, Evelyn Macdonald and her supervisor Prof. Nicolas Cowan have devised a "fingerprint" for Earth. Both of the astronomers have used over a decade of observations of Earth's atmosphere which has been taken by SCISAT satellite that is currently monitoring the planet. With this data the astronomers constructed a transit spectrum of Earth, or a"fingerprint" containing information about Earth's atmosphere in infrared light.

Better known as a "bio-signature", the "fingerprint" also contains information about our ozone and methane levels which scientists expect to be the basic building blocks of life. Prof. Cowan said "A handful of researchers have tried to simulate Earth's transit spectrum, but this is the first empirical infrared transit spectrum of Earth. This is what alien astronomers would see if they observed a transit of Earth."

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