The universe… it’s so big that it’s difficult to imagine its size. We should be happy with this fact because it means that the Earth is probably not the only habitable planet in the world. This means that science fiction movies and comic books could be more realistic than we thought. Maybe they're giving us the first view of how aliens could look, live and influence our society.
However, we don’t know what we could find. Maybe the first aliens will be microscopic organisms and will resemble microbes living in our oceans. Or, aliens may be big like dinosaurs. The most interesting meeting would be if these extraterrestrials are advanced and knowledgeable beings experienced at using faster than light vehicles, endless energy sources and time machines. Imagine how much we could learn from them!
But because we don’t know if aliens will be friendly or hostile, scientists want to find them sooner than they could find us, so rich countries and organizations invest millions to create modern space exploration technologies to speed up the process.
We don’t know where the best place to look for aliens is, because even on Earth, organisms are capable of thriving in very different conditions. For example, polar bears live in the cold and require huge areas to find enough food, while snails require less area and live in a warm climate. The same could apply to aliens. While some scientists are looking for planets similar to the Earth (with oceans), aliens could perfectly living in much bigger gas planets like Jupiter rather than small and rocky planets like the Earth.
Yet, astronomers have come up with lots of wonderful ideas on how to find aliens faster. Some of them look crazy, while others are quite basic but effective. If you want to know the best ideas about how astronomers plan to find aliens, then see them below!
Astronomers think about megastructures as massive and advanced structures aliens could use for helping or stopping the development of life on other planets. For example, by blocking heat coming to planets by absorbing solar energy or using advanced weaponry that could work as heavy meteorite strikes and destroy species.
One of such structures could be close to a star that astronomers call KIC 8462852 (yeah, astronomers give space bodies scientific names like this all the time). This unknown origin object is believed to alter how much light and heat a star emits to surrounding planets, leading some researchers to believe that it could be a megastructure created by aliens.
9 Cosmic Signs
One of the craziest (but valid!) ideas astronomers proposed to help aliens find us is to build many cosmic ships that could move stars and other cosmic bodies to create enormous size signs in our solar system that would help aliens know where we are.
If aliens are as creative as our scientists, then some civilizations could be doing so to help us contact them.
8 Waste Radiation
If extraterrestrials resemble us, then they should also be in need of energy sources. Stars are one of the most powerful sources of energy. Because of that, aliens could be using a Dyson Sphere. It’s a massive sphere that is meant to come close to the stars and absorb their energy.
If Freeman J. Dyson is right, these spheres should be popular among aliens because of their effectiveness in absorbing energy. Also, Dyson spheres should be throwing off waste in the form of infrared rays that could easily be detected by our modern space telescopes.
Let’s be honest, we aren’t doing as much as we can to save our planet; the aliens could be the same way. If aliens are using technologies that pollute the environment, or if they use atomic bombs, then it should be easy to spot the atmosphere changes aliens have created.
If so, high levels of pollution like radioactive particles, CO2, and other chemical compounds could be detected in planets that could seem "dead," but are actually hosting advanced life forms.
While most of our facilities are looking for radio signals, there are those that can detect laser impulses coming from up to 100 light years away, even if they are as tiny as one photon (a light particle) and only showing for as little as a fraction of a second.
Scientists decided to use this technique because lasers can be used to transmit information over very long distances, so they started believing that at least some advanced civilizations should use lasers as a communication tool.
5 Radio Waves
Many years ago, scientists were discovering radio blasts coming from billions of light years away. Being detectable for only a tiny piece of a second, these blasts appear even today and are believed to be caused by collisions of massive objects, evaporating black holes and dying stars.
However, some radio signals appear to have different origins and could be created by aliens for communication or other purposes. It’s hard to determine because natural and artificial radio signals are the same, so the only difference astronomers can use to detect alien radio waves is to see how often they come from the same place, which would be more than a coincidence.
Aliens could not be using radio waves or lasers at all, but prefer to use probes for exploration and communication purposes. For example, we sent probes to nearby planets like Mars, Venus, Saturn and other places, and we learned a lot about these cosmic bodies that way.
This means that probes could be helpful to aliens too, especially if used in huge quantities. The reason why we can’t detect them? It may be because their probes are too advanced for us to detect, or maybe they aren’t close to our solar system at all.
3 Find Similar Planets To Earth
Most scientists believe that if we want to find life on other planets, then we should look for planets like our own. Not too close or not too far away from a star to have a stable temperature and enough light; small and rocky, with oceans of water.
Such planets are called exoplanets and are similar to the Earth, so they could be suitable for us to live, and maybe for species similar to ours as well. This is why astronomers are now hunting for exoplanets by measuring telescopes’ data with the hope to find aliens.
Yes, the longer we wait, the higher chance we have to find aliens. The universe is huge — even for an advanced species, it could take many years to find us. To make this process faster, scientists regularly send messages to space telling whoever's listening where we are and that we want to peacefully meet with them.
While it may be helpful, signals have to travel long distances to reach the far corners of space, so this method is more useful to contact any extraterrestrials that would live close to the Earth.
1 They Are With Us
In many different places, there are many reports of flying saucers, strange creatures, and sounds coming from nowhere that make people question if aliens have already found us and are staying silent because it’s beneficial to them.
If it’s true, what could be the reasons that aliens are hiding? Maybe they think we’re not ready to meet them face-to-face, or maybe it’s more useful to them to silently research us?