Study Suggests There Could Be Over 30 Alien Civilizations In Our Galaxy
According to a new study from researchers at the University of Nottingham, intelligent life could be more abundant in our universe than we initially assumed. The study suggests that there could be over 30 alien civilizations in our galaxy.
The team suspects that there could be “at least a few dozen” active civilization in our galaxy, based on the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets. This number was not randomly selected, this is actually how long scientists estimate that human civilization took to develop on Earth.
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Tom Westby, the study’s lead author, seems fairly confident in the estimations made in his research.
“The classic method for estimating the number of intelligent civilizations relies on making guesses of values relating to life, whereby opinions about such matters vary quite substantially. Our new study simplifies these assumptions using new data, giving us a solid estimate of the number of civilizations in our Galaxy,” Westby said.
However, the team admits that there are many unknown variables involved in any planet or civilization that could influence these numbers, such as the age of the planet and what the host start is comprised of, as well as the average lifespan of a species, which are not constants.
In the abstract of the study, the researchers noted that “The likelihood that the host stars for this life are solar-type stars is extremely small and most would have to be M dwarfs, which may not be stable enough to host life over long timescales.”
The researchers believe that the closest possible alien civilization would be about 17,000 light-years away, and it would be impossible to contact them with our current technology. One light-year is the equivalent to about 6 trillion miles.
A similar study published earlier this year suggested that the “universe teeming with life.”
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Image Credit: Dave Young