Atmospheres & Climate

SET-E: The Search for Extraterrestrial Environmentalism

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 4, 2016
Filed under ,
SET-E: The Search for Extraterrestrial Environmentalism

There is currently no evidence for life on any known exoplanet. Here, we propose a form of “galactic anthropology” to detect not only the existence of life on transiting exoplanets, but also the existence of environmentalism movements.

By observing the planet’s atmosphere over long time baselines, the destruction and recovery of a hole in an exoplanet’s ozone layer may be observable. While not readily detectable for any one system with JWST, by binning together observations of hundreds of systems we can finally determine the occurrence rate of environmental movements on Earthlike planets in the galaxy, a number we term eta-Green-Earth.

Benjamin Montet, Ryan Loomis
(Submitted on 31 Mar 2016)

Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures, Comments Welcome
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1603.09428 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1603.09428v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Benjamin Montet
[v1] Thu, 31 Mar 2016 00:46:15 GMT (364kb,D)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) πŸ––πŸ»