Should We Be Looking for Space Aliens a Bit Closer to Home?

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We’re used to the idea of searching for space aliens by scanning the heavens for their radio signals — after all, that’s what Jodie Foster's character does in the 1997 movie Contact and the way alien hunters commonly go about their work. But some scientists think the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) shouldn’t be limited to far-flung star systems. Rather, they argue, we should consider the possibility that evidence of intelligent aliens might exist here on Earth, or on one or more of our nearest neighbors in the solar system. These scientists aren’t saying aliens might be living among us now. They’re raising the possibility that another intelligent species lived or visited our cosmic neck of the woods millions or billions of years ago and left behind so-called “technosignatures” — things like radios, rockets, or other examples of advanced technology — that might yet exist deep underground or out in space. “It occurred to me that the idea has all but vanished from the professional literature, and I wanted to point this out and ask to what degree it is gone because we have ruled it out,” Penn State astrophysicist Dr. Jason Wright told NBC News MACH in an email. “We need experts in a variety of fields across astrobiology, geology, and anthropology to look at all the data to make concrete statements” about whether there's a chance that advanced space aliens once lived or visited here. Where Technosignatures Might Exist Wright, who outlined his provocative argument in a paper published June 1 in the "International Journal of Astrobiology," said he doubted that intelligent aliens ever lived on Earth. Even if they did, he said, we’re unlikely to find their technosignatures because they’d likely have been destroyed long ago by erosion and Earth’s ever-shifting land masses.

Read More: NBC News


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