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London, May 6 – Aliens on nearby stars could detect Earth through radio signals leaked from the planet, a new research has said.
Using crowd-sourced data, scientists from The University of Manchester and the University of Mauritius simulated radio leakage from mobile towers to study what alien civilisations might detect from nearby stars such as Barnard’s star, located six light years away from Earth.
According to the research published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal, scientists found that only more technologically advanced civilisations would be able to detect the current levels of mobile tower radio leakage from Earth.
“Although it’s true we have fewer powerful TV and radio transmitters today, the proliferation of mobile communication systems around the world is profound. While each system represents relatively low radio powers individually, the integrated spectrum of billions of these devices is substantial,” said Professor Mike Garrett, Team Leader of the project and Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at The University of Manchester.
“The Earth is already anomalously bright in the radio part of the spectrum; if the trend continues, we could become readily detectable by any advanced civilisation with the right technology,” he added.
Ramiro Saide, an M.Phil student at the University of Mauritius and an intern at the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institution’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory, generated the models that illustrate the signals that aliens may receive from Earth.
According to scientists, the Earth’s mobile radio signature includes substantial contributions from developing countries, including Africa, which they say is a remarkable development and highlights the country’s success in bypassing the landline phase and moving straight into the digital age.
“Every day we learn more about the characteristics of exoplanets via space missions like Kepler and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, with further insights from the James Webb Space Telescope,” said Dr Nalini Heeralall-Issur, Associate Professor at the University of Mauritius.
“I believe that there’s every chance advanced civilisations are out there, and some may be capable of observing the human-made radio leakage coming from planet Earth,” she added.