Imaging & Spectroscopy

The Possibility Of Detecting Our Solar System Through Astrometry

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
September 23, 2023
Filed under , , , , ,
The Possibility Of Detecting Our Solar System Through Astrometry
The relative fitting errors of the planet mass πœ–π‘š as a function of observing baseline and observational error. Different colors represent different πœ–π‘š. Gray circles represent none detection of planet signals or the identified planet has large fitting errors of orbital period (i.e. πœ–π‘ƒ > 0.1). The gray dashed lines represent the contours of different SNRs. — astro-ph.EP

Searching for exoplanets with different methods has always been the focus of astronomers over the past few years. Among multiple planet detection techniques, astrometry stands out for its capability to accurately determine the orbital parameters of exoplanets.

In this study, we examine the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations detecting planets in our solar system using the astrometry method. By conducting injection-recovery simulations, we investigate the detectability of the four giant planets in our solar system under different observing baselines and observational errors.

Our findings indicate that extraterrestrial intelligence could detect and characterize all four giant planets, provided they are observed for a minimum of 90 years with signal-noise ratios exceeding 1. For individual planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, a baseline that surpasses half of their orbital periods is necessary for detection. However, Uranus requires longer observing baselines since its orbital period is roughly half of that of Neptune.

If the astrometry precision is equal to or better than 10 ΞΌas, all 8,707 stars located within 30 pcs of our solar system possess the potential to detect the four giant planets within 100 years. Additionally, our prediction suggests that over 300 stars positioned within 10 pcs from our solar system could detect our Earth if they achieve an astrometry precision of 0.3 ΞΌas.

Dong-Hong Wu

Comments: 11 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for publication in Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)
Cite as: arXiv:2309.11729 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2309.11729v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Focus to learn more
Submission history
From: Dong Hong Wu
[v1] Thu, 21 Sep 2023 02:03:05 UTC (2,616 KB)

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»