Over the past decade, there has been a tremendous amount of effort to find intelligent alien life on exoplanets, i.e., other planets out of our solar system.

The 2009 launching of NASA’s Kepler telescope boosted the hunting of the new planets. Primarily designed to be used for the finding of exoplanets, Kepler is also used to search for inhabited planets by making use of a technique named dimming of starlights.

Using this technique, Kepler tracks stars that have regular light dimming with the assumption that the dimming of a starlight may be due to the orbital motion of a planet around the host star.

Over the past 7 years, Kepler has succeeded to discover over 1000 distant stars with planets crossing the face of their parent stars and, therefore, leading to the regular dimming of their light. During this investigation, the stars were randomly chosen and monitored and based on their light pattern were selected as the ones having planets.

New method

While the current method has led to a number of good candidates for the existence of extraterrestrial life; however, since the stars were chosen randomly, it has not been able to provide a satisfying result for proving of intelligent alien life making the outlook for a definite answer a far-reaching one.

In order to resolve this problem, a new technique that may lead to a breakthrough in the research has recently been suggested by two astronomers working at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany.

In an article to be published in the April issue of journal Astrobiology, Dr. René Heller and his associate Ralph Pudritz from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, suggests that the search should be focused on what is called Earth’s transit zone. Their idea is quite simple but may lead to a strong push in the quest for the alien hunting.

Their method is based on narrowing down the search area to the areas in which potential alien astronomers can use the dimming of light technique to discover us on the Earth.

Transit Zone

The Earth’s transit zone is the area in which any alien can observe the dimming of the sun’s light due to the Earth crossing the face of the Sun. Those aliens that may have interpreted the regular dimming of Sun’s light are not located all over the universe; rather, they reside in a narrow strip called transit zone.

The new suggestion leading to the confining of the search for the discovery of intelligent alien life can speed up the process. Scientists believe that if there are real aliens with man’s intelligence, then there are good chances that they would employ our own methods to detect life forms other than theirs on other planets.

As Dr. Heller has explained, with employing of the new method, it may take less than a lifespan to find if the alien astronomers that could have detected our earth are real or not. According to Heller, Earth’s transit zone is an area composed of many host stars that can include over 100,000 potential targets for intelligent alien life. And so we have to wait for the outcome of new observations.


  1. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in Earth’s Solar Transit Zone
  2. Hunt for Intelligent Aliens Should Focus on ‘Transit Zone’

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