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Could we detect alien probes that are inside our own solar system ?

By T.K. Randall
November 28, 2021 · Comment icon 8 comments

What if alien visitors are actively trying to phone home ? Image Credit: PD - Pexels
Scientists have been aiming to bring the hunt for intelligent alien life a little closer to home.
The question of whether we are alone in the universe remains one of the biggest philosophical conundrums of our time. While it seems almost inconceivable that our civilization is alone in the cosmos, the fact still remains that we have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.

But while astronomers have spent decades searching for evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life among the stars, a recent study by two researchers from the University of Liege and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has the potential to turn this notion completely on its head.

Instead of listening out for signals being sent towards us, the study's authors have looked at things from a different perspective - what if there are alien probes in our solar system, right now, that are sending signals, not towards us, but away from us out into the cosmos ?

Assuming that these probes have set up a way to communicate with their creators, it should - in theory - be possible to listen out for the signal that they are sending.
To forward a signal into deep space, it has been proposed that these alien probes could have set up a galaxy-spanning communication network that uses stars as gravitational lenses.

Based on this, the authors argue, the best place to look for evidence of alien communications is the red dwarf star Wolf 359 which is situated approximately 7.9 light years away.

"The Earth should lie once per year in the communication beam of the putative solar probe emitting towards Wolf 359," said study co-author Michael Gillon.

"I made some computations that made me conclude that if the probe emits to Wolf 359 in the optical range when the Earth is in its beam, we should be able to detect its emission even with a modest-size telescope."

Source: Universe Today | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Trelane 2 years ago
I think the only probes we've been able to detect are the ones with a penchant for b*****y.
Comment icon #2 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
Looks like we cannot. Whenever an alien probe trully enters our solar system we have nothing but some poor visibility and speculations to work with... oumuama is the best example that we're not ready.
Comment icon #3 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
Oumuama was not from our own solar system. Oumuama was the interstellar visitor.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Tom1200 2 years ago
I took qxc's reference to mean "Oumuamua was from beyond our solar system but we (humanity) were not ready to respond and investigate it."  So in that regard you're both right. I've never been comfortable with the multiple leaps of faith required to conclude Ouma was a machine of alien provenance.  I understand the conundrum regarding its apparent acceleration as it left us, but I've read several scientific arguments that can describe this without recourse to fanciful explanations.  From everything I've seen, I'm fairly convinced it was a natural hunk of rock from somewhere far, far away. ... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Pixus 2 years ago
Wolf 359? Better hope we don't find the Borg.
Comment icon #6 Posted by moonman 2 years ago
IF they exist, and IF they don't want us to see them, we won't. Simple as that. Super advanced stealth tech that wants to be hidden will stay hidden. Even if they don't care about being seen, they could be small enough to not be noticed, and not transmit anything that we are capable of looking for.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Mike Fox 2 years ago
If they exist, I think they'll be in plain sight, if we're technologically able to look and understand. I'd look at all Lagrange Points of the nearest planets and their moons, where a probe could remain without issue, and still be detected. I'd expect it to be some form of monitoring device, that uploads vast quantities of electromagnetic data to some form of faster-than-light "Galactic Interweb", accessible to any individual in the universe with a suitable username and password.
Comment icon #8 Posted by TheGoldenBoy 2 years ago
ETs in our solar system? Just assume it's impossible, cause it's impossible. 

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