Are we being watched?

Credit: sheilaembry.wordpress.com

Myth and curiosity of Earthly human about being watched by extra-terrestrial beings has been there from time immortals. According to mythology of every religion, we are constantly being watched by supreme powers and we call them GODs. According to a simple story, for a final testing about learning of disciples a guru gave hens to them and asked to kill these at a place where no one should be watching the killing act.  All of them except one killed the hens taking one or the other pretext of not being watched.

The disciple who came without killing the hen was asked by the guru whether he could not get a place to kill. The disciple said that he could not find a place where GOD was not watching him so could not kill the hen.  The Guru was highly pleased with the deep and spiritual learning of this disciple and bestowed all the praise on him and declared him a learner in true spirit. The crux of the story is that we are always being watched everywhere by GOD. But science does not accept it as the existence of GOD cannot be proved scientifically but scientific pursuit to know about anyone in the universe who may be watching us is going on unabated.

If we cannot see the aliens, astronomers are considering the other side to find out which stars could see us as the aliens, as the transiting planet where the Earth blocks out light from the star. The majority of planets beyond the solar system have been detected by watching for worlds that traipse across their stars’ faces. Although this transit method has produced prodigious results, it misses the countless planets that don’t pass in front of their stars from Earth’s perspective. Likewise, alien observers need to be in the right spot to watch as Earth periodically blots out a fraction of sunlight-and that is subject to change as stars shift their relative positions. Scientists calculated that any aliens orbiting 2,034 nearby stars could see Earth marching across the sun’s face during a 10,000-year period of time extending 5,000 years into the past and future. They also calculated that an estimated 29 potentially habitable planets can see Earth transit and are near enough to detect human-made radio transmissions. Studies like this therefore provide a set of stars we could target in our own search for extra-terrestrial intelligence or existence of GOD.

All the worlds that could see Earth orbit stars that are precisely aligned with the plane in which we circle the sun-a small sliver of space generally known as the ecliptic, and in this study, as the Earth transit zone. A little too far above or below the ecliptic, and Earth’s footprint wouldn’t be visible. Scientists are able to identified 1,402 stars that are currently in the ecliptic and within about 300 light-years of Earth. Then they ran the sky on fast-forward and rewind, studying how the stars shift over time to find the ones that fortuitously slide into position to enable Earth-gazing. Exoplanets challenge the notion that we are alone in the universe. Seven of these stars’ host known exoplanets and some even host worlds that are suspected to be rocky. It is estimated that at least 508 habitable worlds are in their sample, with 29 close enough to detect Earth’s radio transmissions.

Role of electronics

Scientific knowledge regarding electromagnetic waves/radiations and EM spectrum is proving very beneficial in making and detecting communication signals which can travel long distances. Such signals either can be sent or can be received. Though the received EM signals from outer space are found to be difficult to analyse and understand according to the existing knowledge and instrumentation capabilities of earthly human. With the advancement of technology in every sphere, in the times to come it may be possible to have communication with beings in outer space. In recent scientific findings it is mentioned and discussed that astronomers identify the stars where any aliens would have a view of Earth. Thousands of alien worlds have revealed their presence to astronomers by briefly blotting out a bit of starlight as they slip across their home stars’ faces-a simple consequence of celestial geometry. By observing these transits over the last decade, scientists have learned that planets outnumber stars in the Milky Way-and that the galaxy is stuffed with worlds where the conditions could be right for life to thrive. For the last century or so, we’ve been leaking radio signals into space. Some, such as our TV broadcasts, are too faint to be easily discernible over cosmic distances. But others, such as concentrated blasts of radio waves emitted by powerful radar instruments, are bright enough to be easily detectable. Today our most powerful radio transmissions are in the form of planetary radar-used by astronomers to study solar system objects such as asteroids by bouncing radio waves off of them.  With the right instruments, alien observers in the Earth transit zone could have even watched as humans slowly altered the composition of the planet’s atmosphere-starting most dramatically about 200 years ago with the Industrial Revolution and continuing through today. Some hypothetical observers around stars close to the ecliptic might not see us in transit today, but they might have discovered Earth as a living planet millennia ago-or they will only discover our transits in thousands of years. Let us hope that with the technological development and deep understanding of electronic, it may be possible for human in near future to communicate with extra- terrestrial.

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