Humans have only just begun our search for alien life out in the cosmos, but have we considered that alien life is already spying on us, and we don't even know it?
A recent study published by a team of astronomers explores this question as they have identified 1,715 stars within 300 light-years of Earth that could view Earth if they had the technology. These nearly 2,000 stars could have been watching Earth for the last 5,000 years. A form of planetary detection is the transit method, and it involves an astronomer viewing and recording the reduction of light from a host star. When an astronomer notices a reduction in the star's brightness, they know an exoplanet is passing by.
While this method of planetary detection is effective and efficient, astronomers can only view exoplanets on Earth's orbital plane, or more simply, within our line of sight. This means that astronomers aren't able to see the exoplanets that aren't "edge-on" to us. Additionally, aliens that are using this same method could also be viewing us and performing the same mathematical estimations of our planet.
Assuming that aliens have the same level of technology as humans, we would not have to worry about first contact from them as the distance between planets is far too great. Continuing on the scenario, if aliens had greater technology than us and had the ability to contact us, they would have had 5,000 years to do so but haven't. Which might lead you to believe they aren't interested in us, or at least not interested enough to view us in person.
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