New study suggests Aliens are not visiting us because our Sun is too boring

(ORDO NEWS) — The Fermi Paradox will not disappear. This is one of our most compelling thought experiments, and generations of scientists continue to struggle with it.

The paradox contrasts the high estimates of the number of civilizations in the galaxy with the fact that we do not see any of them. civs.

It says that if there are fast-growing civilizations in the Milky Way, then one of them should have appeared here in our solar system. The fact that they don’t exist means that they don’t exist.

Many thinkers and scientists have turned to the Fermi paradox and tried to find the reason why we do not see any evidence of an expanding technological civilization.

Life can be extraordinarily rare, and the obstacles to interstellar travel can be overwhelming. It can be so easy.

But the new article has a new answer: perhaps our solar system doesn’t offer what long-lived, rapidly expanding civilizations desire stars of the right kind.

To understand the Fermi paradox, one must understand the Drake equation. The Drake equation is a probabilistic estimate of the number of civilizations in the Milky Way.

It doesn’t tell us how many civilizations there are; it summarizes the concepts we have to contend with if we are to think about how many civilizations there might be.

The most important component of the Drake equation concerns stars. The equation takes into account the rate of star formation in the galaxy, how many of those stars contain planets, and how many of those planets could be home to life.

The equation gets more detailed when it asks how many of these planets are evolving. life, how much of that life becomes technological civilizations, and how many of these civilizations make their presence known by sending signals into space. Finally, he estimates the lifespan of these civilizations.

By using different variables to answer each of these questions, we get different estimates of how many technological civilizations might exist. This is a thought experiment based on evidence, although it is rudimentary.

In a new article, the Fermi paradox is considered with a focus on the types of stars. It states that not all types of stars are desirable for an expanding technological civilization. Low-mass stars, especially K-dwarf stars, are the best migration targets for long-lived civilizations.

The paper “Galactic Population of Low Mass Stars as a Solution to the Fermi Paradox”, and the Astrophysical Journal l accepted it for publication.

The authors are Jacob Hack-Misra and Thomas J. Foch. Hakk-Misra is a Senior Scientist at the Blue Marble Space Science Institute in Seattle, Washington. Foch is an assistant professor of physics at American University in Washington, DC.

The article begins with a summary of the Fermi paradox: “An expanding civilization can quickly spread across the galaxy, so the absence of extraterrestrial settlement of the solar system implies that such expansionist civilizations do not exist,” the authors state bluntly.

The authors point to one of the most famous analyzes of the Fermi paradox. It came from the American astrophysicist Michael Hart in 1975.

Hart’s article was titled “An Explanation for the Absence of Aliens on Earth” and was published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society .

This is considered the first thorough analysis of the paradox.

In his paper, Hart showed how a civilization could spread across a galaxy in a period of time less than the age of the galaxy.

Hart explained what would happen if a civilization sent colony ships to the nearest 100 stars. They could colonize these star systems, then each of these colonies could do the same, and the process could keep repeating.

“If there were no pauses between travels, the boundary of space exploration would be approximately on the surface of a sphere, the radius of which increased at a rate of 0.10 s,” Hart wrote. “At that speed, most of our galaxy would have been traversed within 650,000 years.”

Hart pointed out that a technological civilization would have had enough time to get to us if it had not started less than 2 million years ago. For Hart, the only explanation for the lack of evidence for the existence of alien civilizations is that there are none.

In his article, Hart came to several conclusions: SETI and similar efforts are a waste of time and money. , and if someone colonizes our solar system, then our descendants will probably do it.

The authors of this article disagree.

The basic assumption for many people thinking about the Fermi Paradox is that stars are equally attractive to space civilization, and civilization will spread everywhere in the same way. But is it?

The authors of this new article do not think so. “We hypothesize, following the hypothesis of Hansen and Zuckerman (2021), that an expanding civilization will preferentially settle in low-mass K- or M-dwarf systems, avoiding higher-mass stars, to maximize their lifetime in the galaxy. “, they write.

Judging stars by their lifespans is not intuitive for humans. If one type of star has been around for 10 billion years and another for 10 trillion, what difference does it make to anyone other than an astrophysicist?

But now imagine that you are part of the decision-making body for civilization. which is a million years old – or even more – and has spread to other solar systems. Then the age of the star matters to you.

K dwarfs and M dwarfs (red dwarfs) live long lives. Even for an extraordinarily advanced civilization, colonizing another solar system would require a lot of resources. Why waste those resources on a star system that might not last long?

The authors of this new paper have calculated a new estimate of the time required for a galactic civilization to colonize a galaxy if that civilization only targets K dwarfs and M dwarfs. They say it would take a galactic civilization two billion years to reach all the low-mass stars.

“It would take no more than 0.3 light-years of interstellar travel to settle all M dwarfs and about 2 ly to settle all K dwarfs,” they write.

With more opportunities for travel, civilization could significantly shorten the two-billion-year span of time. “An even faster expansion could occur within 2 million years, taking about 10 years to populate all M dwarfs and about 50 years to populate all K dwarfs.”

These estimates are based on a civilization spreading through the galaxy in waves. There were periods of time when civilization waited for the close approach of a benefic star.

The authors state that “…civilizations can use close stellar collisions to rapidly expand across the galaxy without the need for relativistic spaceflight.”

The authors say that the scenario of settlement in 2 million years can be safely rejected.

“However, this scenario, like the complete population of galaxies, can be ruled out based on our assumption that the solar system is not populated.” They also say that the general lack of evidence for any other civilizations supports their hypothesis of low-mass stars.

“But the absence of extraterrestrial settlements in the solar system is still consistent with an expansion limited to half of the galaxy. , M-dwarf stars or K-dwarf stars,” they write.

The authors believe that there may now be a low-mass Galactic Club star propagating through the Milky Way, and we can’t rule it out just because we haven’t noticed it. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as the saying goes.

“In particular, we note that the low-mass Galactic Club, originating from a G-dwarf parent system, would have had a long time to develop in the history of the galaxy, and we do not pay attention to its activities,” they write.

What will cause the view to constantly expand? Population growth? Energy needs? Scientific curiosity? Power over others?

“But we don’t know much more about whether such galactic expansion would be common or desirable for technological civilizations in general,” they write.

There is no way for us to know. Modern humanity has passed only a quarter of a million years of its journey. We have been farming for only 10,000 years, and the first timid steps into space were taken only a few decades ago.

The motives that drive us and the structure of thought that guides us are not exactly time-tested. . We can do little more than ask about the sociological structure of ancient space species and whether their drive to expand will continue. Maybe after a while it will seem pointless.

The authors say it’s still worth looking for signs of another civilization’s expansion, if only to put more evidence-based constraints on our thinking. And our goal should be low-mass stars.

“Searching for technosignatures in exoplanetary systems could help place limits on the presence of such a ‘low-mass galactic club’ in the galaxy today.” They disagree with Hart that SETI and similar endeavors are a waste of time and resources.

Time is the master of our universe. From the duration of our life to the eras of alien civilizations, the life and death of stars and planets, time rules everything. The theory of relativity can play with time, but it cannot stop its flow.

We do not know what civilizations can be and how they can manage time and perceive it. Are we partial to our own experiences? Of course we are.

But what if alien life is so different that our attempts to even discuss the Fermi Paradox need a course correction? What if their understanding and perception of time is very different from ours?

What if aliens have mastered life extension and live so long that humans can participate in multiple expansions to other star systems? What if they are not strictly individuals, as we are, but a kind of hybrid of an individual and a genetic collective?

What if they could take in new genetic information in ways we can’t imagine? What if breeding is hopelessly outdated for them, and they are free from these worries and limitations of a short lifespan?

What if they are no longer even organic beings, but the things that motivate us are left in their distant past? What if they are symbionts? What if there are hundreds of other “what ifs”?

What if their societies are so different that there is no need to expand? What if the extension itself isn’t worth it?

It would seem that this dooms civilizations to death when their planet ceases to support life. But what if they get around it somehow? But what if there are hundreds of other things we can’t think of?

Things we cannot think about are of no use except to acknowledge that they exist.

This is the end point of many discussions around the Fermi paradox and the Drake equation. We don’t know so much; we can’t even really understand that we don’t know it. Humanity is still a baby.

But people are curious, and this is one of our most attractive features. Scholars like Hakk-Misra and Foch are forced to think about these things. They are right? Are they wrong?

Is there an expanding galactic civilization in the Milky Way?

Perhaps we will never know. But we must keep looking.

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