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Beyond Earthly Skies

Detecting the Constructs of Extraterrestrial Civilizations

10 Mar 2013, 07:13 UTC
Detecting the Constructs of Extraterrestrial Civilizations
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A planet that happens to pass in front of its parent star along an observer’s line-of-sight will block a small fraction of the star’s light and cause a dip in the observed brightness of the star. As a result, planets can be detected around a star by precisely monitoring the star’s brightness to search for periodic dips in the star’s brightness that may signal the presence of a planet in orbit around the star. This method of planet detection is known as the transit method and it is used by space telescopes such as Kepler and Corot to search for planets around other stars. It becomes reasonable to consider that the transit method can also be employed to search for artificial planetary-sized objects in orbit around other stars.An artificial planetary-sized object can take on any shape and should produce a transit light curve with a profile that is different from one produced by a spherical object such as a planet. The detection of an artificial transit can serve as definite proof for the existence of an advanced technological civilization. Such a large object can be constructed by an advanced civilization to communicate its existence or for an entirely different purpose ...

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