According to a new study published in the magazine The Astrophysical Journal there may be dozens of intelligent alien civilizations hiding in our galaxy, all of which are capable of communicating.
"On the assumption alone that it takes 5 billion years to develop intelligent life on other planets as well, there should be at least a dozen civilizations active in our Galaxy." To speak è Christopher Conselice, professor of astrophysics at the University of Nottingham and first author of the study.
The idea is to look at evolution, but from a perspective and on a cosmic scale
The researchers say the data suggest presence of a number of technological civilizations in the Milky Way. A precise number, obtained from estimates relating to the composition of materials and planets.
"We calculate that there should be about 36 active civilizations in our Galaxy," he says Tom Westby, co-author and assistant professor at the University of Nottingham.
"Our new study simplifies all the assumptions of previous studies, giving us a solid estimate of the number of civilizations in our galaxy," Westby added.
Far be it from me to contest a study. But I allow myself to doubt it. The study starts from the assumption that if there is a planet similar to ours, at a distance from a sun similar to the one we have from ours, life will develop. And after a certain number of millions of years it will become evolved and developed to the point where it can try to communicate with the cosmos. Are we sure that all these things are taken for granted?
In support of the (beautiful) research there is a big problem, however: the closest average alien civilization would be around 17.000 light years. And it is also possible that all the other more distant intelligent civilizations have already taken the lead a long time ago.
But finding them could also give us important clues about our own humanity.
“If we confirm that intelligent life is common, it will be a good indication that our civilization can still survive for much more than a few hundred years. Conversely, if we were to discover that there are no active civilizations in our Galaxy it would be a bad sign for our long-term survival, ”said Conselice.
In other words? Space exploration, the search for alien civilizations and extraterrestrial intelligent life are always an important thing.