Scientists believe there are 36 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy

Katie Ramirez
June 20, 2020

This artist's illustration shows what Kepler-1649c might look like from its surface.

They calculated that there could be more than 30 active communicating intelligent civilisations in our home Galaxy. According to a new calculation, the answer is 36.

Michelle Kunimoto from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, an expert in exoplanets, applied a technique known as forward modelling to a database of 200,000 stars studied by the Kepler planet-hunter between 2009 and 2018, to see how many potential new Earths could be out there orbiting around these stars.

Conselice's team thinks that aliens may just be too far away to hear us. They admit these planets do not necessarily have life forms thriving on them, like the case with life-empty Mars, which lies 1.5 astronomical units from the Sun.

The findings hinge on a range of assumptions.

For centuries, scientists have explored the universe for cosmic clues as to whether we're alone in the universe.

Astronomer Frank Drake gave us the Drake Equation in 1961 to help us understand the question of how many intelligent civilizations there might be, but that equation was meant to stimulate scientific dialogue, and does not provide numbers for quantifying the number intelligent civilizations. Then comes the fraction of life-bearing planets that spawn intelligent life, rather than, say, odd algae.

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Scientists also added that we would "not be surprised" by the alien life, and that it would likely be similar to humanity.

The final variable is the average time that communication from alien civilizations lasts. Our "technological" progress is around a hundred years of age. However, many of its definitions are not yet known and other methods should be used to calculate the possible number of civilizations.

The study was published today in The Astrophysical Journal. This means that there is 18% of Sun-like stars that could host human beings in the future.

The research suggests that there could be an Earth-like exoplanet (rocky, similar size to earth and orbiting a G-type star) for every five sun-like stars in the galaxy, noting there are approximately 400 billion stars in the galaxy. A third of stars older than 5 billion years rated. To have a "weak" limit suggests that at least 5 billion years are needed for a habitable planet to develop life, whereas a "strong" limit refers to the possibility of life arising in a period of 4.5 billion or 5 billion years. Are other potential civilizations as long as on Earth? They reasoned that we are not yet technologically advanced to be able to receive and respond to these signals.

There are more optimistic scenarios for ET compliance. Is how life has evolved.

"From a statistical perspective, this is one of the most challenging problems in science", the study authors wrote. And the result is 6,000 million , a giant amount but which represents just a small percentage of the total number of worlds that contains the Milky Way.

The scientists categorized the life forms as civilized based on their ability to communicate, such as by sending signals and transmissions into space through satellites. That seems pessimistic even for human civilization, which is struggling but seems unlikely to stop using radio waves in the next two months, he said. Said. "So, if smart life in the world had developed elsewhere in the Galaxy, smart life would have developed similarly there". "Those are important things that could change the response by an order of magnitude". "It's pretty extraordinary", Conselice said. It is also possible that we are the only civilisation within our galaxy unless the survival times of civilisations like our own are long. " Because these can not be answered until we detect the life we have not yet done". In the end, Shostak said, there is only one way to find out. Perhaps the Milky Way was relatively bustling a few billion years ago, but those sparks from life have been quenched.

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