Солнечная система и ее тайны

Планеты Созвездия НЛО

Signal to Noise

You are waiting for a message from a friend on a nearby hill. The hill is far enough that you can't see her from where you are, but she has said that she will shine a flashlight at you, and you will write down the pattern of flashes so that you can decode her message. Which of the following would make it more difficult to detect the whole pattern?

Obstacles to the Search for Life

At this point you know how we detect planets, and how we might find life on them. You might be wondering, "Why has it taken so long? Why haven't we found life elsewhere in the universe?"

This section discusses the challenges that make the search more difficult. From the inverse square law that makes it hard for us to detect radio signals at great distances, to signal-to-noise issues that mask planets in the light of their stars, to interstellar clouds that block light from reaching us, there are many fators that stand between us and the first discovery of extraterrestrial life. We'll look at each of these individually.

At the end of this section is our full interview with Lisa Kaltenegger. In it she discusses some of these challenges and talks about the promises of some new satellite telescopes that will come online in the next five years. Our observational capabilities continue to improve, and each year makes us more capable of dealing with these obstacles. The better we understand such challenges, the more we will be able to overcome them.

Солнечная система и ее тайны