For centuries, human beings have looked at the night sky, hoping to see aliens.

Now, a group of scientists is trying to find out where aliens would have to be in order to see us.

Researchers from universities in the U.K. and Germany have identified nine planets that are "ideally placed" for their resident astronomers to detect Earth using the same methods Earth stargazers use to detect them, according to a new paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Heroes

As any historian of medieval East Asia or player of Civilization V: Brave New World will tell you, 15th century Koreans were really, really, really good at science.

A statue of King Sejong the Great in Seoul. Thanks, guy! Photo by Republic of Korea/Flickr.

Under the judicious rule of Sejong the Great, the kingdom's top researchers spent a lot of time looking at space and making maps of it.

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Heroes

Astronomer Vera Rubin passed away Dec. 25, 2016, at the age of 88.

Vera Rubin. Photo by Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Rubin was a pioneer in her field — one of the few prominent women astronomers of her time, who, in an era of oppressive professional sexism, uncovered some of the best evidence of the existence of dark matter — the mysterious stuff that we can't see that binds the universe together.

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Heroes