The Moon could be one of the best places in our solar system to look for traces of alien artifacts and extraterrestrial technology says a renowned scientist.
A closer examination of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images could reveal "incontrovertible signatures of non-human technology."
Scientists now suggest we could find traces of extraterrestrial nuclear waste, large-scale mineral processing or geo-engineering, biotechnology or a
shadow biosphere or DNA-encoded messages in bottles on our Moon.
Most scientists avoid dealing with controversial issues such as the possibility of extraterrestrial life in our solar system, but Dr. Paul Davies from
Arizona State University thinks we should look for alien artifacts on the Moon.
This idea put forward by Dr, Davies and his undergraduate student, Robert Wagner in their paper
"Searching for alien artifacts on the moon" that was submitted to the official journal of the International Academy of Astronautics.
According to Dr. Davies, "the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has a low probability of success, but it would have a high impact if successful.
Therefore it makes sense to widen the search as much as possible within the confines of the modest budget and limited resources currently available.
To date, SETI has been dominated by the paradigm of seeking deliberately beamed radio messages.
However, indirect evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence could come from any incontrovertible signatures of non-human technology.
Existing searchable databases from astronomy, biology, earth and planetary sciences all offer low-cost opportunities to seek a footprint of
The scientists suggest the public could help looking for anomalies.
A project similar to SETI@home and Galaxy Zoo could be a good start.
"If it costs little to scan data for signs of intelligent manipulation, little is lost in doing so, even though the probability of detecting alien
technology at work may be exceedingly low," they add.
One way to scan all of the images involves writing software to search for strange-looking features,
such as the sharp lines of solar panels, or the dust-covered contours of quarries or domed buildings.
These might be visible millions of years after they were built, because the moon's surface is geologically inactive and changes so slowly.
Even if an advanced extraterrestrial civilization visited the Moon a long time, it is still possible to detect traces of their presence
because the lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years.
"Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artefact or surface
modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration," the scientists write their paper.
Tycho Crater on the Moon
Tycho Crater, about 85 kilometers across, is clearly visible on our Moon's surface.
The freshness of the crater and the rays of material radiating from it suggest that this is a young crater;
there has been little time to erode it. Tycho Crater appears close to the southern polar region of the Moon.
The circular crater is surrounded by a bright ejecta blanket. Rays of ejecta extend across the lunar surface. Courtesy of the Lunar and Planetary Institute.
One of the easiest The artifacts to find would probably be a message left behind intentionally.
This might be held in a capsule and left in a large fresh crater like Tycho in the moon's southern highlands, the scientists write.
Some longer-lasting messages could be buried at depth but fitted with transmitters that penetrate the lunar surface, they add.
Alien life might once have set up a lunar base in the underground networks of lava tubes beneath the moon's dark, basaltic plains,
and perhaps have left rubbish when they departed. "The same factors that make lava tubes attractive as a habitat imply
that any artefacts left behind would endure almost indefinitely, undamaged and unburied," the scientists write.
This cavern in Mare Ingenii is almost twice the size of the one in the Marius Hills. Credit: NASA/ Goddard/ ASU
Dr. Davies suggests that extraterrestrial civilizations would arise at a uniform rate over time, most likely in the deep past.
In his paper, Dr. Davies lists a number of 'traces' that might survive a 100 million year period.
We might find traces of extraterrestrial nuclear waste, large-scale mineral processing or geo-engineering, biotechnology or a
shadow biosphere or DNA-encoded messages in bottles.
There are many odd structures on the Moon which could indicate alien presence. Perhaps the time has come to really examine
the Moon's features Many of them might not be geological, but rather artificial in nature.
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