Three new exoplanets in a star system just 40 light-years away from Earth have captured the attention of astronomers. They say it might be the perfect place to search for signs of life. The most exciting part is that the planets are about Earth-sized, which
makes them good candidates for hosting life. They’re also orbiting a
really dim star, which is super helpful for astronomers.
It’s an unsettling thought, but aliens could easily spot Earth before humans spot them. In a new research paper,
astronomers identified 82 other stars around the sun that have a clear
view of Earth. If any of those stars are host to planets with life,
someone else in the universe may have already seen that humans are here. The researchers assume that alien life could theoretically figure out the same way to find exoplanets that we have.
In October 2015,
star KIC 8462852, also called “Tabby’s star,” made headlines when
scientists suggested its strange dips in brightness might be caused by a
giant, alien-built megastructure. Now, astronomer Tabetha Boyajian has
started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a full year of continuous observation of the star to figure out what’s causing its strange dimming behavior. This star is pretty damn strange.