The search for extraterrestrial life has become one for hairspray

Thursday, 29 November, 2012

Studying an exoplanet’s atmosphere for traces of aerosols, or CFCs, could speed up the search for intelligent life beyond the solar system:

CFCs are entirely artificial, with no known natural process capable of creating them in atmospheres. Detecting signs of these gases on far-off worlds with telescopes might serve as potent evidence that intelligent alien civilizations were the cause, either intentionally as part of terraforming or accidentally via industrial pollution.

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