US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The fact of human existence indicates that a technologically advanced life is possible in the Universe, but all our searches for other civilizations have yielded nothing.
Since Earth is the only evidence of life that we have, it is difficult to understand how widespread life is – or vice versa.
However, a new method for assessing the likelihood of life outside the Earth provides hope. According to the parameters used, the Milky Way galaxy should have at least 36 advanced civilizations capable of transmitting communication signals, although their number may be even higher.
“There must be at least several dozen active civilizations in our galaxy, assuming that it takes 5 billion years to form intelligent life on other planets, like Earth,” said astrophysicist Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham in the UK.
“An idea looks at evolution, but on a cosmic scale. We call this calculation the Astrobiological Copernican Reach.”
There are several parameters that can be used to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. Conselis and his colleague, engineer Tom Westby, developed a calculation scale based on the number of parameters that they included.
For the weakest Astrobiological Limit of Copernicus, the team suggested that intelligent life occurs wherever possible – on rocky planets in the habitable zones of receiving stars of sufficient age and metallicity – and lasts throughout the life of the star.
This has estimated tens of billions of potential habitats, but it is also highly unlikely that intelligent life will actually arise in each of these cases.
For the remaining three limits, a time frame was established when developed civilizations based on the Earth could appear. About 4.5 billion years have passed for a developed technological civilization to arise here; the first radio signal was transmitted only in 1895.
So, for the strongest Astrobiological Limit of Copernicus, the parameters included a star with a sun-like metallicity, and age from 4.5 billion years to 5.5 billion years. If we assume that the life expectancy of a communicating civilization is about 100 years (approximately how long people transmit signals), the lower limit of the number of civilizations is 36.
“The classic method of estimating the number of intelligent civilizations is based on the assumption of values related to life, according to which opinions on such issues differ significantly,” Westby said.
“Our new study simplifies these assumptions using new data, giving us an accurate estimate of the number of civilizations in our galaxy.”
So, if they are there, they transmit electromagnetic signals to space, why haven’t we found them, or are they us? Well, the galaxy is a great place. According to the team’s calculations, scatter 36 civilizations throughout its vast space, and as a result you will get an average distance of 17,000 light years between each pair.
The radio waves from our broadcasts are spreading into space, but there is a limit to how fast they can travel. Such signals are composed of electromagnetic radiation, which means that they can only travel at the speed of light. The waves from this first broadcast in 1895 could have gone only 125 light-years from Earth.
In addition, many signals emanating from the Earth are probably distorted by the ionosphere. Like the connection of the Earth with space – they will become so weakened by the time they pass a distance of about 100 light years, they will be practically undetectable in any case.
But we are not just trying to find out the probability of the existence of alien civilizations, because we want to make friends. We do this because it helps us understand our own existence.
“Our new study suggests that the search for extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations not only shows the existence of life forms, but also gives us clues about how long our own civilization will last,” said Conselis.
“If we find that intelligent life is a common occurrence, it shows that our civilization can exist for much longer than several hundred years,” Conselis added.
“Alternatively, if we find that there are no active civilizations in our galaxy, this is a bad sign for our own long-term existence. In search of an extraterrestrial intelligent life – even if we find nothing – we discover our own future and destiny.”
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