Just for a moment, think that we are not alone in the universe and that there are other forms of life beyond the Milky Way and Earth, which so far is the only place where advanced life forms are found.
If there are aliens somewhere in the universe, they may have seen the dawn of humanity on this planet and decided to monitor our evolution. How would they do it?
A new eye – opening article by Live Science outlines the following scenario:
“Hundreds of millions of years ago, advanced civilization detected strange signs of life on a blue-green planet away from their home in the Milky Way. They are trying to send signals, but whatever is going on in that unfamiliar world is not responding. So curious galaxy researchers try something different. They send a robotic probe to a small, quiet space rock orbiting a life-rich planet just to look at things.
If such a story had occurred at some point in Earth’s 4.5 billion year history, it must have left an archeological footprint. At the very least, this is the hope behind the new proposal to check the co-orbitals of Earth for signs of advanced technology. ”
Co-orbitals are cosmic objects – planets, moons, even cosmic rocks – orbiting the sun at about the same distance as Earth, as explained by James Benfold, a physicist and independent SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence):
“They basically orbit the sun at the same speed as Earth and are very close.”
Benfold laid out his theory of alien surveillance at a conference with Houston last year:
“If right, co-orbitals could have been a way of detecting alien activity before humans had evolved, or at least before turning their attention to the stars.”
Not everyone – including SETI researchers – agrees with Benfold’s contradictory theory. One of them is Paul Davis, a physicist and astrobiologist at Arizona State University who says he still thinks we have a duty to check all co-orbitals just to be sure:
“How likely is it to have an alien probe on some of these co-orbitals? Obviously extremely incredible.
But if it doesn’t cost too much to check, why not? Even if we don’t find aliens, we can find something interesting. ”
Let’s find the beetles
Acting on the premise that aliens are really watching us, all we have to do is find hidden beetles. How could this be done? Dr. Benfold has a suggestion:
“The closest star to Earth except the sun is now Alpha Centaur, 4.37 light-years away. But about every half a million years, a star appears about a light-year from Earth, “says Benfold, meaning that hundreds or thousands of stars (and the possible planets accompanying them) have been close enough over Earth’s long history to make contact. Once upon a time, aliens may have seen nothing more exciting than photosynthetic bacteria, or dinosaurs, if they were lucky. But their probes may still be on co-orbital surfaces. “What I’m talking about is basically alien archeology,” Benfold says.
Benfold suggests that we use optical and radio telescopes, as well as scan the co-orbitals with planetary radar, to see if his theory will be confirmed. Sending small spacecraft is also feasible and not very expensive, he adds. China is already planning to send a spacecraft to explore an asteroid close to Earth and a miraculous rock in the asteroid belt as early as 2022:
“The search for signs for intelligent aliens near Earth is informative, even if the study turns out to be in vain,” Benfold says. That no one has heard or seen alien signals for about 50 years does not matter much, given the hectic period of time in Earth’s history. The lack of evidence for hundreds, millions or even billions of years would be much more convincing.
“If we find nothing, it means that no one has come to look at life on Earth for billions of years,” Benfold says. “It’s a big surprise, something amazing.”
And other surprises may await us once the search begins. Another reason to see what we can find.