Universe Today Podcast

Episode 538: Searching For The Red Edge. How The Earth's Forests Are Telling The Aliens Where We Live

July 23rd, 2019  •  10 mins 6 secs  •  Download (9.25 MB)  •  Link with Timestamp

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People are always worried that alien civilizations will detect the transmissions from our old radio shows and television broadcasts, and send in the invasion fleet. But the reality is that life itself has been broadcasting the existence of life on Earth for 500 million years.

Blame it on the plants.

In addition to filling the atmosphere with oxygen, plants give off a very specific wavelength visible in infrared radiation. It’s the kind of signal that other civilizations could search for as they’re scanning the galaxy.

It’s what we’ll be looking for too.

But don’t just blame the plants. Other forms of life have been giving off signals too, signals we can search for as we discover new exoplanets and wonder if they have life there.