At least, that's what the scientists are saying. Arizona State University's professor Paul Davis -- a theoretical physicist and cosmologist now working on astrobiology -- and Robert Wagner -- Research Technician at the School of Earth & Space Exploration -- have published a scientific paper calling for the search of alien artifacts on the Moon..
I know. I find this insanely awesome too. And it actually makes some sense.
In their paper they argue that, while the search for extraterrestrial intelligence "has a low probability of success", the potential impact of finding proof requires to "widen the search" as much as possible. Instead of just looking for radio messages, we should probably search for traces of alien explorers in the celestial bodies of our solar system. These are the highlights of the paper:
- Alien civilisations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy.
- Any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago. The lunar environment could preserve artifacts for millions of years.
- Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter provides a photographic database to search for artifacts.
- Searching the LRO database would make an excellent educational project.
Their idea is to use photographs from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter -- 340,000 images now, one million in the future -- in computer-based and crowd-sourced analysis. The cost is very low, they say and the gains are good anyway. Either we find signs of aliens or people learn a lot about the Moon in the process. It's a win-win proposition.
Davis and Wagner believe that, if there's something, it will be perfectly preserved because there's very little activity on the lunar surface. They think that, if aliens actually were there, they may have left a beacon on a place like the Tycho crater or perhaps in one of the many lava caves that populate our silver satellite, which may be where the alien explorers installed their bases. Space exploration experts also believe that, if humans are to set up a colony on the Moon, these lava holes would be the best place.