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Finding E.T. via their EPA non-compliance


Here's a fun idea, captured in a TIME article by Michael Lemonick:
....a team of Harvard astronomers has come up with a third way [to search for intelligent alien life]: look for atmospheric gases generated not by biological processes, but by alien factories.
The idea comes from my department chair, Avi Loeb, a freshman researcher Henry Lin, and SAO scientist Gonzalo Gonzalez Abad. Sound crazy? Well, 
Loeb is something of a master at asking nutty-sounding questions, then demonstrating that they’re not nearly as nutty as you might think. He co-authored one paper, for example, on how to look for cities on Pluto, and another on why it makes sense to look for habitable planets orbiting dead stars.  
This latest effort is no exception. “It’s not crazy, at least as far as I can tell,” says Heather Knutson, a Caltech astronomer who specializes in looking at exoplanetary atmospheres, and who wasn’t involved in this research. “Avi in particular is willing to speculate on some pretty far-out topics, but no one doubts his ability to calculate the relevant physical models correctly.”
Here's the preprint of the paper. My previous post about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence here

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