Astronomers are using the Moon as a mirror to search for alien life

the Moon as a mirror
Credit: NASA

The Moon as a mirror: Astrological ploy

Astronomers have resorted to a new trick in order to find habitable exoplanets, and the attempt this time involves using the moon as a mirror.

NASA and European Space Agency scientists have relied on the Hubble Space Telescope to capture the light that is reflected off the moon after it passes through Earth’s atmosphere, according to SpaceX. Scientists believe that by studying this reflection they will find the chemical signatures of life in the distant exoplanets because they will resemble the reflection of Earth’s light on the moon, and they will discover the possibility of life on its surface.

Fresh air

When scientists usually use a term to describe a planet outside the solar system and resemble Earth, they mean a rocky planet roughly the size of our world, and at a suitable distance from its host star, making the temperature suitable for living on it. But it is very difficult to know whether these exoplanets have habitable atmospheres or not, and that’s why the Astronomers have thought that the Moon as a mirror could help.

“One of the primary goals of NASA is to identify planets that could support life on their surface,” Hubble telescope scientist Allison Young-Blood said in a press release. “But how do we know if we have seen a planet if it is truly habitable or uninhabited?” She asked.

Planet B

alien life
Image by AD_Images from Pixabay

That is why the study presented by Young Blood and published in the Astronomical Journal is very important.

This special study relied on measuring the amount of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere to match the chemical signature emitted by a planet outside the solar system, hoping that this would prove that it has an oxygen-rich atmosphere and a heap of ultraviolet rays, just like ours.

the Moon as a mirror: Aliens

The first British woman who went on a trip to space said, “Alien creatures exist and may be alive among us on the surface of the Earth.”

Professor Helen Sharman told the British Observer newspaper that “aliens exist and live somewhere in this universe.”

“Aliens do exist, there is no doubt about that,” she added, reiterating that “there are completely different forms of life” among billions of stars.

Professor Sharman, 56, made history when she traveled to the Russian Mir Space Station in May 1991.

Sharman, a chemist currently working at Imperial College in London, added that although the bodies of aliens are not composed of nitrogen and carbon like human bodies, “they may be present on the surface of the earth now, but we cannot see them.”

Then should the Moon as a mirror can help us to find the hiding alien life ?

I just want to let you here below read what NASA said about this subject: source

Hubble did not look at Earth directly. Instead, the astronomers used the Moon as a mirror to reflect sunlight, which had passed through Earth’s atmosphere, and then reflected back towards Hubble. Using a space telescope for eclipse observations reproduces the conditions under which future telescopes would measure atmospheres of transiting exoplanets. These atmospheres may contain chemicals of interest to astrobiology, the study of and search for life.

Though numerous ground-based observations of this kind have been done previously, this is the first time a total lunar eclipse was captured at ultraviolet wavelengths and from a space telescope. Hubble detected the strong spectral fingerprint of ozone, which absorbs some of the sunlight. Ozone is important to life because it is the source of the protective shield in Earth’s atmosphere.