What our solar system would look like to alien astronomers

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

We know what WE see when we're scanning deep space for signs of planets capable of supporting intelligent life—but what would that intelligent life see when it looked BACK? NASA scientists have used a supercomputer to create a simulation of how our solar system might appear to any alien astronomers who might happen to be looking our way.

Scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have tracked 75,000 dust particles that cover our solar system to determine how planetary gravity would affect the dust.

"The planets may be too dim to detect directly, but aliens studying the solar system could easily determine the presence of Neptune—its gravity carves a little gap in the dust," said astrophysicist Marc Kuchner. "We're hoping our models will help us spot Neptune-sized worlds around other stars."

Check out the video below.

Wonder what Stephen Hawking— who believes that aliens exist and probably want to kill us—would make of this?

(via Huffington Post)