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Odds of finding aliens

Aliens may have already explored Milky Way

According to recent research, it is probable that the Milky Way could be full of interstellar alien civilizations. We don’t know because, in ten million years, they haven’t visited us.

The research, which was published last month in the Astronomical Journal, shows that intelligent alien life could take time to explore the galaxy, harnessing star systems’ movement to make star-hopping easier.

This work is a new answer to an issue known as the Fermi Paradox that asks why the signs of extraterrestrial intelligence have not been found.

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There are many possible habitable planets, but we see no proof of life. This is known as the Fermi Paradox, which was named after the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, whose great question was: Where is everyone?

Fermi questioned how feasible it was to move between stars, but since then, his question has been about the very presence of aliens.

Michael Hart, the astrophysicist, formally examined the issue when he argued in 1975 paper that alien life had enough time to colonize the Milky Way but we haven’t even heard anything from any extraterrestrial. Hart reasoned that there must be no other advanced civilizations in our galaxy.

The recent research provides another view of the matter. The writers suggest that aliens are taking their time and being strategic.

“If you don’t account for the motion of stars when you try to solve this problem, you’re left with one of two solutions,” said Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback, a computational scientist and the study’s lead author, told Business Insider.

Stars (and the planets around them) orbit the centre of the galaxy on different paths at different speeds. As they do, they occasionally pass each other, Carroll-Nellenback pointed out. So aliens could be waiting for their next destination to come closer to them, his study says.

In that case, civilizations would take longer than Hart expected to spread across the stars. So maybe they haven’t yet reached us — or perhaps they did, long before people developed and evolved.

Interstellar travel

Researchers have attempted to address the Fermi Paradox in several ways. Studies have examined the potential for all types of alien life in oceans below the surface of a planet to unleash civilizations by their unsustainability before they can undertake any interstellar voyage.

A 2018 Oxford University study, suggested that there’s an irregularly 2-in-5 chance we’re alone in our galaxy and a 1-in-3 chance we’re alone in the entire cosmos.

But the writers of the latest study point out that a critical aspect of our galaxy has not been taken into account by prior studies: it moves. The star systems orbit the galactic center just like planets orbit stars. For instance, our solar system orbits the galaxy every 230 million years.

If civilizations occur in star systems far from the others (like ours, which is in the galaxy’s backwaters), they could shorten the journey by waiting until their orbital path takes them nearer to a habitable star system, suggests the research.

We have a lot more things to know a lot more research yet to happen on this topic

Journal Reference: The Fermi Paradox and the Aurora Effect: Exo-civilization Settlement, Expansion, and Steady States

About the author: Kshitij Kumar Moderator
Kshitij has always been passionate about Science and Technology. He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from IIT Jodhpur. Kshitij has worked in many fields of Science and Marketing. Along with managing backend and technicalities of the website, he is also one of our editors and marketing managers. Kshitij was the one who came up with the idea of connecting people interested in Science and built a team which is now ScienceHook.

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