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Thread: We Could Find Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Their Air Pollution

  1. #1
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    We Could Find Extraterrestrial Civilizations by Their Air Pollution

    Upcoming telescopes will give us more power to search for biosignatures on all the exoplanets we’ve found. Much of the biosignature conversation is centred on biogenic chemistry, such as atmospheric gases produced by simple, single-celled creatures. But what if we want to search for technological civilizations that might be out there? Could we find them …
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  2. #2
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    Apr 2007
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    Without knowing what the "natural" levels of NO2 or any other chemical are on each specific planet, we can't determine what levels are "unnatural". A biosphere with, say, a larger number of innate forest fires than Earth will have lots of combustion products all the time, regardless of intelligent habitation.

    Also an industrial development might not depend so heavily on burning organics as ours. There's conceivable alternate tech trees.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  3. #3
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    Dec 2020
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    There is one problem here. On many planets, nitrogen dioxide can be of completely natural origin - for example, due to volcanic activity. Therefore, scientists will have to measure the amount of nitrogen dioxide and carry out simulations.

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