Could We Find Aliens By Looking For Their Pollution?

By on January 2, 2015

0721CD6E-1627-4C96-A674-42F994286E72_w748_r1_sAccording to some of the astrophysicists at Harvard, there could be a slightly easier way to find aliens out there in the black. We could simply look for pollution similar to our own.

Al Gore is constantly reminding us (for the better!) to watch humanity’s output of chlorofluorocarbons, aka CFCs, but it could be these CFC’s that show us a planet harboring complex alien life much like our own out in the universe.

CFC’s are ozone-depleteing pollutants that both stick around for tens of thousands of years and is almost entirely man-made. Therefore if there is life out there that is anything like us they would be likely be creating pollutants like us.

In a few years, NASA is launching the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). This amazing new telescope will be able to capture starlight filtering through atmospheres of exoplanets. Using this ability, scientists can compare the spectrum of light from the planets before and after it goes through the atmosphere therefor detecting the type of gases being admitted and whether there is pollution like we have on earth.

Typically, scientists search for signs of oxygen when they are looking for planets with life, but by searching for CFC’s and signs of pollution they could find something closer to intelligent life and not just planets with planets and bacteria like organisms.

However, this is all based on assuming that aliens would be as destructive on their planet as we have been on ours.

About Darth Sarah

Sarah is a journalist and an artist who lives in the city. She loves movies and television. She reads early and often. She also secretly hopes the Doctor will come and take her away, though she realizes he probably already has a dedicated companion at the moment. Sarah also helps out over at BSCkids.com, Optionated.com and our other sites!

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