If you think that watching your favorite sitcom on Netflix or cable TV is just limited to entertainment, think again. We are also unknowingly sending vast signals to the universe and pretty much letting any possible aliens out in space know how to find us.
In fact, we've been sending out so many radio signals for the past 100 years that even if we turn off all satellites today, extraterrestrials from outer space will still be able to find us, Clara Sousa-Silva, a quantum astrochemist, said during a segment in BBC's "Ideas."
"We have been sending signals for the past 100 years and those signals have gone into space and traveled at the speed of light and by now have reached hundreds of stars and hundreds of planets around them," Sousa-Silva, who is doing her post-doctorate degree in MIT and is a Ph.D. holder from the University College London, said.
The astrochemist said that the signals are now strong enough to be detected should there be alien civilizations out in the universe. Aside from this, there is also a big chance that these aliens now know a lot about human origins, culture and history thanks to all the "material" that we've been sending them for years.
"If there was an alien civilization then they would have heard the first BBC broadcasts and now they would have seen many, many years of Coronation Street and have a rough idea of how our humanity works," she said.
Sousa-Silva also said that some prominent scientists actually think that it's silly how humans are sharing too much to the galaxy especially since we know nothing about them.
"Aliens may not be very kind so we shouldn't be giving them our position."
And if the world suddenly decides to turn off all radio signals, it also doesn't mean that we would be safe from the probing eyes of aliens. She said that the Earth has a biosphere that basically gives any alien civilization an idea as to what type of species thrive in it. The quantum astrochemist also said that aliens would be able to use a powerful prism to filter the white lights of our galaxy and separate the colors of the rainbow to determine our position.
She said that the molecules from our planet can reflect "shadows" that are visible in every color of the prism and this could be the way how aliens can pinpoint our location in the universe. The shadows could also tell them that there is indeed a lively planet out there and that it is filled with vast oceans and organic life forms.
Sousa-Silva has been working for years with the ultimate goal of finding a habitable planet outside our solar system. The scientist shared that the best way to do this is to analyze the light from exoplanets so that atmospheres can be characterized. This can help in understanding the effects and impact that molecules have on an atmosphere's spectra.
With the same principle of using radio signals to find earth, the scientist also believes that we can use alien biospheres to determine if there are extraterrestrials that actually exist in the universe.
"We can already look at some alien atmospheres although we can't quite look at some full terrestrial atmospheres yet we're very close. At MIT, I develop the tools that try to decipher these potential alien biospheres. Those tools are how I will be listening in to alien messages. Until then I will try to find signs of life from signals aliens didn't even mean to create," she said.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.