Nytt verktyg utvecklat för att söka efter teknosignaturer på exoplaneter

A team of scientists, led by MIT’s Sara Seager, has proposed a new method for detecting advanced civilizations on exoplanets. Instead of searching for radio signals, the team suggests looking for evidence of atmospheric pollution produced by technological societies. Specifically, they propose looking for the presence of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), gases that are not known to be produced by life on Earth.

The team explains that fluorine is excluded from the chemistry of life on Earth, and natural processes do not produce it in large amounts. Therefore, the presence of these gases in the atmosphere of an exoplanet could be a strong indication of industrial activity. These gases also have unique spectral features that can be detected using spectroscopy.

To aid in the search for technosignatures, the team developed a new tool called a “spectra phalanx plot.” This tool allows researchers to visually compare the spectral peaks of different gas molecules and analyze the spectral clusters. The team also maintains a database of natural biochemical compounds to help differentiate between biological and industrial processes.

While the search for technosignatures is still in its early stages, astronomers have made significant advancements in detecting gases in exoplanet atmospheres. The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has been instrumental in this endeavor, allowing for detailed observations and analysis of exoplanet atmospheres. However, the search for technosignatures is not limited to gases; astronomers are also exploring other potential signs of advanced civilizations, such as artificial lights, megastructures, waste heat, and radio signals.

The growing field of data-driven astronomy is also playing a crucial role in the search for technosignatures. Scientists are using machine-learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data collected from sky surveys and solar system exploration. This approach helps identify anomalies in the data that could be indicative of the presence of life and advanced civilizations.

In conclusion, the search for technosignatures is an exciting frontier in astronomy. With new tools and advancements in data analysis, scientists are getting closer to uncovering evidence of advanced civilizations on exoplanets. Whether it’s the detection of unusual gases or the identification of other technological signatures, the search for extraterrestrial life continues to push the boundaries of our understanding of the universe.

– Scientific Reports – MIT’s Sara Seager et al.
– Keck Institute for Space Studies – “Data-driven Approaches to Searches for the Technosignatures of Advanced Civilizations”