The Atlantic

Find Cosmic-Blast Shields, Find the Aliens

Astronomers say they could detect signs of advanced civilizations by searching for their defense mechanisms.
Source: Amr Dalsh / Reuters

For decades, the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life has used giant radio telescopes on the ground to scan the skies, hoping to detect alien broadcasts from somewhere in the Milky Way. (No luck so far.) But the rise of powerful space telescopes capable of observing hundreds of Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars, like the Kepler telescope launched in 2009, changed the game. The right technology, astronomers say, could

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