The Earth's lights from space (Image: NASA)
City lights on an imaginary alien world (Image: David A. Aguilar/ Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Earth's cities at night (Image: NASA)
The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud (Image: NASA/JPL/Donald K. Yeoman)
View of Earth at night from International Space Station (Image: Expedition 29 crew/Johnson Space Center)
It's difficult to look at the night sky and not wonder whether intelligent life exists out there. Indeed, the odds are very much in favor of there being countless civilizations scattered throughout the heavens, but the challenge remains in proving it. Recently, two scientists hit upon the novel but common-sense idea of searching for city lights on the dark side of distant worlds- a task advanced next-gen earth and space-based telescopes will likely be able to tackle in the not-too-distant future.
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