This is how Earth could look to alien astronomers
To understand how any intelligent alien civilizations could observe the Earth and eventually understand that life exists on our planet, a group of researchers has decided to transform and adapt the images we possess of the only planet with the presence of life we know.
We speak of course of the Earth and of the images taken from satellites to other space vehicles, images that the same researchers have analyzed and modified to make them appear possibly similar to those that any alien astronomers would see observing us.
They have worked on several thousand images of the Earth captured by the American satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory, a satellite that is located in an interesting observation point where there is a sort of gravitational balance between the Earth and the Sun. The images, which are taken at 10 specific wavelengths, they were modified by the researchers who worked on the light curves and were able to understand which parameters of these curves corresponded to the ground and which to other details such as cloud cover.
After understanding these relationships, they adapted them to the Earth’s rotation. The result is a sort of terrestrial map that presents various approximate contours of the main continents, contours represented by a black line that roughly follows the coastlines, and various areas of different colors that indicate the ocean and the emerged lands.
A map that the same researchers define as “the first two-dimensional (2D) surface map of the Earth reconstructed from light curve observations without hypotheses on its spectral properties” in the abstract of the study presented for the time being Su arXiv.
The same study could be useful to reconstruct the surface features of Earth-like exoplanets in future observations.
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