The best place to look for ET’s

June 8th, 2008 - 10:44 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 8 (ANI): Scientists searching for aliens have shifted gear by now looking for extra terrestrials (ET’s) around stars that lie more or less along lines of sight of Earth, a region known as the ecliptic, or the plane of Earth’s orbit.

According to a report in Discovery News, scientists scouring the skies for radio waves from any extraterrestrial neighbors, have taken a new approach, which assumes that extra terrestrials (ET’s) know about us and want to make contact.

From the ecliptic zone, an extraterrestrial civilization would be able to detect Earth as it passes in front of the sun, much the same way scientists on Earth have found planets circling stars beyond our solar system.

The ecliptic encompasses about 3 percent of the sky.

“Our team hopes this is a concept that should lead rapidly to the detection of other civilizations - if they exist,” said Johns Hopkins University astronomer Richard Henry.

“It’s conceptual breakthrough. If the hypothesis is correct, they know Earth exists, and they know there is life on Earth,” he added.

According to Henry, advanced civilizations would have the tools to make a chemical analysis of Earth’s atmosphere, which would reveal our planet’s atmosphere is rich with water and oxygen.

Advocates of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, believe that advanced civilizations would spend the resources necessary to make contact with their cosmic neighbors, particularly those within relatively direct earshot.

“Knowing where to look tremendously reduces the amount of radio telescope time we will need to conduct the search,” said Henry.

The California-base SETI Institute is building a dedicated array of telescopes to hunt for alien radio signals.

Henry and his team want to use the observatory to comb stars in the plane of Earth’s orbit. (ANI)

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