Sep 21, 2022

Astronomers found a new way to hunt for alien worlds

Posted by in categories: materials, space

The hunt for alien worlds is more difficult than it may seem. Without the ability to travel through the cosmos, we’re left to look through telescopes and collect data to determine whether other planets lie in wait. Now, though, astronomers say they may have figured out a way to make the search for these alien worlds much easier, and it relies on a technique that looks for debris fields.

Feng Long, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and the Smithsonian’s Center for Astrophysics, says she discovered a possible new technique that can make finding alien worlds much easier. Instead of relying on blindly sifting through data, Long looked for material and fields of debris at the Lagrange points. She published a paper on the technique and her findings in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The Lagrange points can be thought of as parking places in space. These points are notable because they act as an intersection of the different gravitational fields between celestial structures. Essentially, these points act as a middle ground between gravitational pulls. As such, the pull of gravity from all objects is equal. So, debris from developing alien worlds may congregate here, Long says.

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