Many attempts have been made to find extraterrestrial life, and now scientists have suggested that aliens might be waiting until a cosmic version of "high noon" to send out their signals to Earth.

According to, in a new study, researchers looked for technological signs of aliens during the times when exoplanets pass directly in front of their suns. That is from Earth's point of view. These moments could be the perfect opportunity for an alien world to send out a signal to humans in an attempt to communicate with us.

Study leader Sofia Sheikh, a postdoctoral researcher in radio astronomy at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, said that "exoplanetary transits are special." The reason is that they can be calculated by humans on Earth, as the observers, and also any "potential technological species in the exoplanetary system itself, as the transmitters." These transits are a predictable and repetitive time during which aliens might think of sending messages and humans might look to get them. Sheikh told Live Science that this strategy helps researchers to "narrow down the huge question of where and when to look for a message in the vast reaches of space."

The new study did not find any evidence of aliens, but researchers only searched a dozen far-off planets. They plan to look further with a different types of telescopes.

Radio technology was invented in the late 19th century, and since then, Earth has been leaking transmissions into space. Scientists have sent them out deliberately in hopes of contacting any intelligent extraterrestrial that might be listening. They hope that intelligent alien civilizations might also leak out technological signals or technosignals. Researchers also scan the galaxy for radio waves that might have originated from alien technology. But the galaxy is a huge, so it's not easy to figure out where to look.

Sheikh and her team decided to eavesdrop on far-off exoplanets as they pass in front of their suns, in what is known as a Schelling point. It is a solution to a problem that two people tend to default to if they aren't interacting with one another. Sheikh and her team used West Virginia's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope to look for radio signals from 12 exoplanets. Their transits were observable during a brief window in March 2018.

They detected many radio signals (almost 34,000), but 99.6% of those could be dismissed as interference from Earthbound communications. All but two of the signals were determined to be due to interference. The remaining two -- a few short bursts from Kepler-1332b and Kepler-842b that are potentially rocky planets larger than Earth -- were found to be worthy of further follow-up. But Sheikh said that those two are also almost certainly due to interference and are not real messages from aliens. Still, she said that the study was proof that the search method can work to contact aliens.

This is a representational image. Pixabay/ Pawel86

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