Scientists published a study Monday that revealed coherent radio bursts from an M-dwarf planet-host YZ Ceti b.
In what reads as an incredibly complex paper, scientists argued that by observing magnetic-star interactions, we can determine the magnetic field of exoplanets. Models further predict that terrestrial planets in close orbits around M-dwarf stars can induce a stellar radio emission that is detectable here on Earth. Those emissions were “coherently detectable” in the study, suggesting we now have a new variable in our hunt for alien life.
Magnetic fields are essential to our current understanding of sustaining life, according to the Independent. Our own magnetic field here on Earth is what protects us from harmful radiation from our sun and surrounding cosmos.
SETI is getting ready to broadcast a message to the universe giving our exact location and a map of our planet. What could possibly go wrong?https://t.co/0hzONyKXFb
— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) April 4, 2022
If all types of alien life are similar to humans in their make-up, they would also depend on a similar level of protection from their closest stars. But until recently, it was very difficult to tell whether a planet even had a magnetic field.
Scientists therefore studied a planet called YZ Ceti B, which the Independent describes as a rocky planet some 12 light years away. A repeating radio signal coming from its closest star appears to be impacted by the planet.
“The search for potentially habitable or life-bearing worlds in other solar systems depends in part on being able to determine if rocky, Earth-like exoplanets actually have magnetic fields,” National Radio Astronomy Observatory program director Joe Pesce told the Independent. “This research shows not only that this particular rocky exoplanet likely has a magnetic field but provides a promising method to find more.” (RELATED: ‘Spies’ And ‘Trash’: Half Of UFO Sightings Can’t Be Explained, US Intelligence Agencies Report)
The hunt to find alien life has ramped up considerably in recent years. Most recently, Pentagon officials suggested that aliens could be visiting Earth by sending down probes from a larger Mothership somewhere in our cosmic vicinity.