Vol 23, No 11

The Possibility of Detecting our Solar System through Astrometry

Dong-Hong Wu


Searching for exoplanets with different methods has always been the focus of astronomers over the past few years. Among multiple planet detection techniques, astrometry stands out for its capability to accurately determine the orbital parameters of exoplanets. In this study, we examine the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations detecting planets in our solar system using the astrometry method. By conducting injection-recovery simulations, we investigate the detectability of the four giant planets in our solar system under different observing baselines and observational errors. Our findings indicate that extraterrestrial intelligence could detect and characterize all four giant planets, provided they are observed for a minimum of 90 yr with signal-noise ratios exceeding 1. For individual planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, a baseline that surpasses half of their orbital periods is necessary for detection. However, Uranus requires longer observing baselines since its orbital period is roughly half of that of Neptune. If the astrometry precision is equal to or better than 10 μas, all 8707 stars located within 30 pc of our solar system possess the potential to detect the four giant planets within 100 yr. Additionally, our prediction suggests that over 300 stars positioned within 10 pc from our solar system could detect our Earth if they achieve an astrometry precision of 0.3 μas.


Key words: astrometry – planets and satellites: detection – Planetary Systems

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