The Easy Way to Let Extraterrestrials Know We Exist
My first article for The Atlantic on a recent paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by David Kipping and Alex Teachey, entitled "A Cloaking Device for Transiting Planets."
As I write these words, there are a total of 1,327 confirmed exoplanets that we have detected because they periodically block the light from their host star. Of those 1,327 exoplanets, only 38 orbit their stars in the habitable-zone (i.e., at distances that could allow for liquid water to exist on their surfaces). And of those 38 exoplanets, only 15 of them orbit long-lived, more stable stars like our Sun and its slightly cooler brethren. That’s only fifteen stars; fifteen habitable-zone, transiting planets around cool, stable stars. That’s where the search for intelligent life should begin according to Columbia astrophysicists David Kipping and Alex Teachey. Or at least the search for indirect signs of it.
Read the full article here.