SOURCE: Discovery News
Jan 2, 2011
Two scientists have come up with a method to detect forests on extrasolar worlds.
Christopher Dougherty and Adam Wolf are working on the idea that a planet covered in trees might be detectable from the Earth because the shadowing on the surface would give it a different look. Referred to as the search for "Extra-Arboreal" life the method would require a much larger telescope than is currently available but could one day be used to locate abundant life on a distant world not much unlike our own.
If a tree casts a shadow in the woods, can anyone see it from light-years away? Considering that the best extrasolar planet pictures to date are dots in deep-space exposures, this question may sound ludicrous. But a pair of scientists thinks that detecting alien forests might be doable, at least in theory. Call it the search for Extra-Arboreal life.
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Could we detect trees on other planets?