Here’s what Earth might look like to aliens

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Here’s what Earth might look like to aliens




"When Earthly astronomers train their telescopes on exoplanets beyond our solar system, they’re lucky to see even a single dot of light. How can they figure out whether it might have suitable conditions for life? To find out how they might know more, a team of scientists turned the problem on its head: They took images of a habitable planet—Earth—and transformed them into something alien astronomers light-years away would see.


The team started with about 10,000 images of our planet taken by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite, which sits at a gravitational balance point between Earth and the sun, allowing it to see only the daytime side of the planet. The images were taken at 10 specific wavelengths every 1 to 2 hours during 2016 and 2017.


To simulate an alien point of view, the researchers reduced the images into a single brightness reading for each wavelength—10 “dots” that, when plotted over time, produce 10 light curves that represent what a distant observer might see if they steadily watched exoplanet Earth over 2 years."


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