Alien civilizations – Are we alone?

The search continues…

Alien Civilizations – Article updated on 06/12/2015

…and of course, none of the answers have proven to be right as it hasn’t happened yet – or it wasn’t mentioned to the public. There’s about 300,000,000,000 (300 billion) stars in our galaxy. To reach the end of the Milky Way, one would have to travel at the speed of light (299 792 458 meters / second) for 100 thousands years.

This scale gives off an idea how massive our galaxy is. As a further matter, more than 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) galaxies exist in the Universe and the biggest one discovered up to date is IC 1101 and consists of approximately 100 trillion stars.

The number of galaxies is an estimate because as of yet, we are incapable of counting all of them accurately, and the technology that we have available today is far insufficient. The proportions are enormous, therefore it’s natural for humans to ask:

Alien civilizations: Are we alone?

According to Drake’s Equation and his famous quote that’s been around the Internet for decades – the total number of habitable worlds equal to about 100 billion – it’s impossible for us to be alone. The universe is too large to host only one civilization.

From Wikipedia about the original estimates:

Drake states that given the uncertainties, the original meeting concluded that N ≈ L, and there were probably between 1000 and 100,000,000 civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.

This is a picture of Drake's Equation who's theory estimates a number of alien civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.

This is a picture of Drake’s Equation who’s theory estimates a number of alien civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.

The numbers above, from a maths point of view, are against the odds that there’s only one little green planet called Earth that had developed intelligent homo sapiens.

Try the Drake Equation Yourself – you can play around with numbers, and check for yourself how this formula relates to other galaxies by changing the equation’s values.

NASA’s Prediction

“It’s unproven whether there is any life beyond Earth. However, I think that situation is going to change within everyone’s lifetime in this room.” – said Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute at a House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing on May 21st.

NASA’s spokesman indicated that by 2025 the technology will allow for an extensive search of other life forms as we will be able to travel through abyss of the universe at the speed close to light.

Stephen Hawking regularly shares his thoughts on life in the cosmos, and he strongly believes in extraterrestrial life existence. However, for about five years now, the famous theoretical physicist has been expressing his fears that should we find another form of civilization, they would be likely to attempt to destroy humanity. He adds:

“It’s time to search for life beyond Earth. The breakthrough initiatives are making that commitment. We are alive. We are intelligent. We must know. Alien civilizations existed way before us.”

Possible signs of alien life

Observer writes about “a bizarre space anomaly detected by the Kepler Spacecraft has caught the attention of SETI . The institute recently pointed the Allen Telescope Array system 300 miles northeast of San Francisco toward the star, KIC 8462852, to test the hypothesis that the anomaly may be signature of an extraterrestrial civilization.”

“What is peculiar about the activity detected around the star is the dimming is at times up to 22%. The fading, which occurs in irregular patterns, has led many astronomers to wonder whether an advanced civilization is harnessing KIC 8462852’s energy as a mother star.”

Human civilization on Earth

It is believed and somewhat proven that the universe was formed about 13.8 billion years ago as the result of The Big Bang. We have an excellent article about this theory and how life began on our website that also explains why we are made of stars.

Scientists have come to an understanding that our early ancestors, further called Homo Erectus, first appeared in Africa only 1-2 million years ago.

This suggests that other hypothetical forms of life had a much longer period of time to develop their own intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and successfully surpass our civilization in the fields of knowledge, technology and intelligence.

The contact – first alien encounter

When is it going to happen or has it already happened – these questions remain unanswered and on the minds of everyone. I prefer to believe that the puzzle isn’t the question of if we make the contact, but when.

With today’s technology, we are able to brainstorm ideas on creating more and more powerful tools to help us discover the cosmos. NASA has been building  the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) since 2011 which will be far more capable than its predecessor Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Whilst these telescopes aren’t made for extraterrestrial life search, they might at least find interesting traces of other life forms.

“Webb will have a much larger primary mirror than Hubble (2.7 times larger in diameter, or about 6 times larger in area), giving it more light-gathering power. Webb will operate much farther from Earth, maintaining its extremely cold operating temperature, stable pointing and higher observing efficiency than with the Earth-orbiting Hubble.”

Conculusion

Are some alien encounter stories true? Has alien evidence been overlooked? Should most of the sci-fi films again prove to be the precursors of what’s going to happen after the contact is made – only time will tell.

What are your thoughts?

The article was updated on 06/12/2015

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