To this day, no one has found reliable (publicly known) evidence that a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ exist.
However, a new study reveals that there may be more than 30 a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ in our galaxy alone.
A conclusion that a group of researchers reached after searching in our closest galactic neighborhood for planets that could harbor life forms similar to those that develop on Earth and that could harbor a similar evolution.
According to a study published in the scientific journal \’The Astrophysical Journal\’, in the Milky Way alone there would be more than three dozen possible active a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳.
Christopher Conselice, a professor at the University of Nottingham and one of the research directors, explains to the Independent that “there must be at least a few dozen active c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ in our galaxy, assuming that it takes five billion years for life to form on other planets, as in Earth.
Conselice highlights that “the idea is to look at evolution, but on a cosmic scale.
We call this calculation the Copernican Astrobiological Limit.”
This limit would appear in two ways: a “weak” limit, whereby intelligent life forms on a planet at any time after five billion years;
and a “strong” limit, which I would bet on because life formed between 4.5 billion and 5 billion years ago.
This was the scenario on which the research was based, which was also supported on the basis that these new species would need metal-rich environments to develop, since humans developed in the metal-rich solar environment.
A bad sign for Earth if there are no a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ in our galaxy
Scientists believe that in order to detect any kind of c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳ in our galaxy, you need to be able to collect the signals that are sent out into space.
Given that Earth has been sending radio signals via satellites or television for nearly a century,
it would be concluded that there could be as many as 36 intelligent c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ currently in this galaxy.
However, even if this hypothesis were true, communication would be very complicated, as the average distance to any of these c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ would be around 17,000 light years, which would complicate any form of communication.
If we discover that there are no active c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ in our galaxy, it is a bad sign for our very existence.
But the researchers value another possible scenario, according to which humans on Earth are the only intelligent life in the galaxy and that c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ are extinct before we can detect them.
In this case, according to Professor Conselice, “the search for intelligent e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ not only reveals the existence of how life forms, but also gives us clues about how long our own c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳ will last.”
Therefore, he points out that the prospects for long-term human survival would be lower than one might suppose: “If we found that intelligent life is common, it would reveal that our c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳ could be an a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳ that came to Earth from another planet.
But if we discover that there are no active c̳i̳v̳i̳l̳i̳z̳a̳t̳i̳o̳n̳s̳ in our galaxy, it bodes ill for our very existence.
By looking for e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳ intelligent life, even if we find nothing, we are discovering our own future and destiny.