Study Finds Our Galaxy May Be Full of Dead Alien Civilizations
Image via Getty / Marcos del Mazo / LightRocket
A newly published study suggests that the Milky Way could contain extraterrestrial civilizations, although the likelihood is that most of them are already dead.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Santiago High School used an expanded version of the famous Drake equation, which was used to determine the likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence in our galaxy. The study examined various factors that could presumably lead to a habitable environment and found that intelligent life may have originated in our galaxy around 8 billion years after it was formed. Some of these civilizations could have been 13,000 light years from the galactic center, about 12,000 light years closer than Earth, where humans are believed to have originated 13.5 billion years after the Milky Way was formed.
The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, also took into account factors these civilizations may have ended, such as exposure to radiation, a halt in evolution, and the tendency of intelligent life to self-annihilate, whether through climate change. technological progress or war. This suggests that any alien civilizations still alive are most likely young, as self-annihilation typically occurs after a long time.
"While no evidence specifically suggests that intelligent life will ultimately self-annihilate, we cannot rule out the possibility of self-annihilation a priori," the study said. "As early as 1961, Hoerner (1961) suggested that advances in science and technology will inevitably lead to complete destruction 11 and biological degeneration, similar to the suggestion of Sagan and Shklovskii (1966). This is further supported by many earlier studies. This self-destruction of the Humans is very possible across a variety of scenarios (e.g. Nick, 2002; Webb, 2011) including, but not limited to, war, climate change (Billings, 2018), and the evolution of biotechnology (Sotos, 2019). ""
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