A new paper published in the Astrophysical Journal– an online journal devoted to the developments, discoveries, and theories in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics- estimated how many CETIs (communicating extraterrestrial intelligent life forms) exist in the universe and the time it would take for them to come into contact with each other.
Researchers Wenjie Song and He Gao estimated these figures using the following two areas of study: the likelihood of alien life residing on a planet, and the degree of the occupied planet’s host star’s evolution where the CETIs exist.
The study examined about nine modeled scenarios where these alien life forms would either be rare (worst case scenario) or common (best case scenario). In the “rare” scenarios, there would be only about 110 CETIs in the entire Milky Way Galaxy and it would take them about 400000 years to establish contact with each other, whereas in “common” scenarios there would be about 43 000 communicating extraterrestrial life forms, and it would be at least 2000 years before they make contact with another CETI.
This research expands on the question posited by the Fermi Paradox: If mathematical estimates show us that it is extremely likely for extraterrestrial life to exist in the universe, why have we only hitherto come across obvious evidence of the opposite case?
By proving that it would take thousands of years for even the closest of CETIs would take at least two thousand years to establish contact with us, researchers Wenjie Song and He Gao point to the limitations of our technology- giving us some explanation as to why we’ve been unsuccessful in establishing contact with extraterrestrial life forms.
Some of the study’s main limitations include large, accounted uncertainties which means that the estimates of Song and Gao’s research are inaccurate. This means that if alien life exists, we might come into contact with it sooner (or later) than this study’s predictions.
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