If a nearby exoplanet was populated by mountains, oceans and lifeforms, all we would see using today’s telescopes is a few blurry pixels. Therefore, in the search for life beyond Earth, the only option for now is to speculate about planetary features from the bare minimum of information.
This video explains how astronomers are attempting to view the Earth through the eyes of extraterrestrial astronomers – to get baseline data to assist the search for habitable planets. It also introduces the radical idea of using the Sun’s gravity to act as a giant lens to focus light on a telescope that would be sent to the outer reaches of the solar system.
Find out more about the quest to view the Earth through alien eyes in this feature article from the May issue of Physics World.