Episode 538

Searching For The Red Edge. How The Earth's Forests Are Telling The Aliens Where We Live

00:00:00
/
00:10:06

July 23rd, 2019

10 mins 6 secs

Your Host
Tags

About this Episode

People are always worried that alien civilizations will detect the transmissions from our old radio shows and television broadcasts, and send in the invasion fleet. But the reality is that life itself has been broadcasting the existence of life on Earth for 500 million years.

Blame it on the plants.

In addition to filling the atmosphere with oxygen, plants give off a very specific wavelength visible in infrared radiation. It’s the kind of signal that other civilizations could search for as they’re scanning the galaxy.

It’s what we’ll be looking for too.

But don’t just blame the plants. Other forms of life have been giving off signals too, signals we can search for as we discover new exoplanets and wonder if they have life there.

Information on ESA's ARIEL mission
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCTGIxmM-e4

Audio Podcast version:
ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/universe-today-guide-to-space-audio/id794058155?mt=2
RSS: https://www.universetoday.com/audio

What Fraser's Watching Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbJ42wpShvmkjd428BcHcCEVWOjv7cJ1G

Weekly email newsletter:
https://www.universetoday.com/newsletter

Support us at: http://www.patreon.com/universetoday
More stories at: http://www.universetoday.com/
Twitch: https://twitch.tv/fcain
Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/universetoday
Instagram - http://instagram.com/universetoday

Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / [email protected]
Karla Thompson - @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw
Chad Weber - [email protected]

References:
https://www.nature.com/articles/365715a0.pdf
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/03/asteroid-bound-spacecraft-finds-signs-life-earth
https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1907/1907.05245.pdf
https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/07/exoplanet-evolution-astronomers-expand-cosmic-cheat-sheet
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~kchance/EPS238-2014/refdata/Seager-red-edge-2005.pdf
https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1905/
https://arielmission.space/
https://www.astrobio.net/news-exclusive/earthshine/

Support Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain