Home SpaceWhat Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
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What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via Sugrit Jiranarak/Shutterstock.com]

Ophiuchus Galaxy Cluster

  • Distance From Earth: 390,000 Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: Untold Millions (We’ve Seen 37 So Far)

The Ophiuchus Galaxy Cluster happens to form the far wall of the Ophiuchus Void. Although, it is also connected, at least in a filament, with both the Pavo-Indus-Telesopium and Hercules Superclusters too. It resides in the center of the cD cluster, which has roughly two more galaxy clusters and four more galaxy groups. Plus, several more field galaxies too. It is like they have teamed up to have their own United Federation of Planets! The cD Galaxy of NeVe 1 is a site in this supercluster that erupted, triggered by an ejection of ~270 million solar masses from the supermassive black hole in NeVe 1.

It is the largest explosion in the universe since the Big Bang, and opened up a 1.5 million lightyear wide cavity in the Ophiuchus Supercluster! This is scary to think about, as Ophiuchus is just 390,000 lightyears away. On Earth at that time, we saw the Hoxnian Interglacial period, which led to the true formation of the British Isles. Humans then began to settle there after a while. However, during this period in history, the Homo Sapien had not come about. Rather, it was our Neanderthal ancestors that popped up at this point.

What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via Milosgagic/Shutterstock.com]

Triangulum I Galaxy

  • Distance From Earth: 3 Million Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: 40 Billion

Among the “local group” of full galaxies, Triangulum I is the third largest. In fact, it is considered the furthest universal body that can be seen with the naked eye. Roughly 3 million lightyears away, it is believed to be one of Andromeda’s satellite galaxies. Yet some scientists think it’s actually coming out of a previous interaction with another galaxy. Then as it reached the massive Andromeda and its gravitational pull, it had no choice but to become a satellite. Interestingly, Triangulum I has an H II nucleus. Which is simply a nucleus made of ionized atomic hydrogen.

If alien worlds viewed Earth from here, they’d be seeing some changes. First, they would be seeing the North Pole start to become glacial. We’d also begin to see some animals pop up that are often assumed to be part of the dinosaurs. Species like the saber-toothed tiger and wooly mammoth were both common in this timeframe. Both even lived long enough to come in contact with early humans. Neither are dinosaurs, obviously, but they are still part of the prehistoric species list. Not only this, but other megafauna popped up in this time, including several much larger plants.

What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via World Atlas]

Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy

  • Distance From Earth: 25,000 Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: 1 Billion

Noted as an irregular dwarf galaxy, many have disputed the idea of it holding the “galaxy” tag for a while. This is why some actually refuse to call it that and instead use the name “Canis Major Overdensity.” What everyone agrees on is that it possesses a ton of red giant stars. These stars are naturally in their latter lifecycle, meaning this area will eventually be home to a large percentage of supernovas or they could be hijacked by others, such as vampire stars. All in all, in spite of the red giant stars, Canis Major is home to roughly a billion stars.

It is also just about 25,000 lightyears away, making it very close to us. About 10,000 years before this is when our modern calendar takes place. It is also when the extinction of the Neanderthals came to pass. A few thousand years after this is when the oldest cave paintings were traced back to. This is at least one of the last glacial periods, so alien worlds would likely see a cold planet but nothing compared to beforehand. While animal and society changes are incredibly different, this is the closest version of “Earth” itself that alien worlds could view.

What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via NASA]

Malin 1 Galaxy

  • Distance From Earth: 1.19 Billion Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: Unknown (Trillions Estimated)

Malin 1 is the largest spiral galaxy science has ever discovered as of this writing. We do not have a lot of information on the galaxy due to it being a little over one billion lightyears away from us. Most of our images are even blurred, making it hard to really get an idea about their star count. Due to the distance, the light it emits is not very bright. Weirdly, we assume the distance is the problem entirely. However, we’ve seen other galaxies just as far away that are much brighter. This is why some scientists naturally assume Malin 1 has a lot of older stars that are losing their luminosity.

If alien worlds in this galaxy looked at Earth, they might scoff a bit at what we looked like to them. The first known plants came to be just a few million years before the 1.19 billion mark. Shortly after, the first supercontinent, Rodinia, formed that would be huge for the development of future species. This means the landmass we’d later see, especially a lot of the glacial periods, has not happened yet. The Earth was still very much in a very hot, dense period. It would be another 200 million years before we saw the snowball Earth. Something almost opposite to the Earth from even 1 billion years ago.

What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock.com]

Messier 87 Galaxy

  • Distance From Earth: 53 million Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: 1 Trillion+

While Messier 87 is a supergiant galaxy with more than one trillion stars, it is seemingly in a backyard compared to the distance of other galaxies. It’s a little over 50 million lightyears from Earth. Which is pretty close compared to other galaxies out there. Scientists used this closeness to their advantage a short time ago. The galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center, like many other galaxies. Scientists managed to capture an image of this black hole, the very first image of a true black hole ever! Their black hole happens to be 6.5 billion times the mass of our sun, which is crazy to think about.

Being roughly 53 million lightyears from us, alien worlds present there would be seeing the Earth in one of its best periods of change. India collided with Asia, leading to the formation of the Himalayas. The Azolla Event happened around this time as well. This was a period in which freshwater fern Azolla bloomed in the Arctic Ocean. The Azolla sank to the seafloor, becoming incorporated in the sediment there. That led to carbon dioxide reducing, taking away the “Greenhouse Earth.” Palm Trees and amphibians could now properly live at the poles. However, the North and South Poles would turn glacial in the “Icehouse Earth.”

What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via NASA]

Cosmos Redshift 7

  • Distance From Earth: 12.9 Billion Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: Unknown 

The Cosmos Redshift 7 Galaxy is one of the oldest galaxies astronomers have ever discovered. It is believed to have formed roughly 800 million years after the Big Bang took place. While it randomly got its name from soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo, the two do not really have anything in common except the number. CR7 is a high-redshift, Lyman-alpha emitter galaxy. In simple terms, this means it is a distant galaxy that emits Lyman-alpha radiation from neutral hydrogen. CR7 also increases the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation while reducing its frequency. All of this then combines with photon energy.

What would alien worlds see if they looked in our direction? While they might have advanced equipment that we could not fathom, if they did not get closer to us then they’d never know we existed. The Earth did not come about until just under 5 billion years ago. However, our entire solar system did not exist before that time roughly. If that is not enough for you, the entire Milky Way galaxy did not form until 14 billion years ago. Thus, CR7 worlds would be seeing a slowly forming galaxy that would not include us for over ten billion years!!

What Alien Worlds Actually See When They View Earth From Lightyears Away
[Image via Allexxandar/Shutterstock.com]

Butterfly Nebula

  • Distance From Earth: 3,000 to 6,000 Lightyears
  • Number Of Stars: 1

The Butterfly Nebula is technically within the Milky Way and not a galaxy unto itself. However, it almost seems like its own galaxy due to its appearance. Scientists claim it is the most complex planetary nebulae ever discovered. With only one central star, it has to emit extreme heat to allow for such beautiful light to be seen. It is estimated to be one of the hottest stars ever discovered, with a surface temperature of 250,000 degrees Celcius or 450,032 degrees Fahrenheit. The interesting part? The star is a White Dwarf! The Hubble Space Telescope discovered it in 2009, and scientists were blown away.

The possible alien worlds here are likely seeing a developed Earth being between 3,000 to 6,000 lightyears away. Societies had already formed, along with several languages on top of early writing. The Pyramid of Giza among other man-made structures from the old world was built in this period. While several periods such as the Bronze and Iron Age happened during this period, the planet itself did not change massively on a geological end. However, several animals popped up or went extinct in this timeframe. Mankind was also a bit smaller than it would go on to become.


Where do we find this Stuff? Here are our Sources:

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

European Space Agency (ESA)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Public Broadcasting Company (PBS)

Cornell University

University of California – Berkley

University of California – Riverside

Cambridge University

California Institute Of Technology

University of Hawaii

New York Times



Live Science