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An international team of astronomers and exoplanet enthusiasts are searching the night sky at Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the most quiet and unspoiled places on Earth.
Thousands of kilometers to the east of Earth, a clock keeps time for the 13,000 aliens that live here.
“Our team is gathering data from the two principal scopes in the Atacama region which are the Square Kilometre Array which is the $15 billion radio telescope, and it is running extremely smoothly right now, and the 45-meter telescope that is also doing quite well.” said Dave Charbonneau, a senior astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The University of Cambridge is also located here and its director, Sir Martin Rees, led a team of researchers who scanned the sky in the presence of 35,000 other astronomers from 25 countries.
Dave Charbonneau continues, “Now the data that is coming in, the ambient noise in the region, the dust, the sky, the mountains, the rocks, and everything in the Atacama Desert is having a remarkable influence on our observations of the cosmic background noise of the universe.”
A research team published the results of their observations in a paper published recently in Nature.
Calculations indicate there could be aliens in the Atacama desert by at least 1,000 light years from Earth.
“Our own technology cannot yet tell us exactly where they are but it is clearly in the most vast parts of the universe, the furthest reaches of our solar system.” said Charbonneau.
Dave Charbonneau and his team are looking for the elusive dark energy.
“Our observing team… we’re searching for dark energy now which is the mysterious force that’s driving us all crazy. It’s bizarre. It’s kind of like the seventies back then. We can’t explain it, we know it’s there but we can’t figure out what it is.”
And Dave Charbonneau, as well as Martin Rees, think the Atacama desert is where they will find alien life and at least one other hypothetical body.
“If you look at the charts for the number of planets that are at least eight times the mass of Earth, as the (NASA) Kepler Mission was, the chances of it being at least the sun’s mass planet are about three in 10.” said Charbonneau.
“If there’s an eight in 10 chance that there is life out there, then so there’s very high probability that these planets are inhabited.”
Listen to the full interview with David Charbonneau and Martin Rees here: