Could Aliens Ever Spot Earth?

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Astronomers have long searched for life on other planets, but could aliens someday spot our humble terrestrial home? As the SciShow’s Hank Green explains in the video below, this type of encounter looks pretty unlikely. That's because many exoplanets simply aren’t lined up correctly to see any of the planets in our solar system transit the Sun, which is the way Earth-bound scientists often find other planets.

Don’t despair, however, that we won't ever find faraway life: Astronomers went through all of the known exoplanets, and found about 65 of them that are positioned in the right place to see one of the planets in our solar system, including nine that could see Earth. Meanwhile, there may also be 10 nearby Earth-like planets that we can’t see, but from which life forms could see Earth transiting the Sun.

So, who knows? Maybe one day, we'll make contact with a brand-new space species. Until then, we'll keep looking (and wondering whether we're being looked at).

Learn more about our potential to be spotted by aliens, as well as how galaxies get their magnetic fields, by watching the SciShow's video below: