The Milky Way should host at least 36 intelligent civilizations capable of communicating, according to research published this month in The Astrophysical Journal.
Tom Westby and Christopher J. Conselice of the University of Nottingham School of Physics and Astronomy discovered this figure by assuming intelligent life forms on other planets similar to Earth, at 4.5 billion years and 5.5 billion years. and in proximity to a metal-rich star.
This also assumes that the half-life of a communicating civilization is 100 years, which is the time that the Earth civilization has had radio communications.
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“The search for intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations not only reveals the existence of how life is formed, but also gives us clues as to how long our own civilization will last,” Conselice said in a press release. “If we discover that intelligent life is common, this would reveal that our civilization could exist for much longer than a few hundred years. Alternatively, if we discover that there are no active civilizations in our Galaxy, it is a bad sign for our own life.” . term existence. By seeking extraterrestrial intelligent life, even if we find nothing, we are discovering our own future and destiny. “
Therefore, they believe that, under the strictest assumptions, at least 36 other civilizations are speaking. But with an average distance of 17,000 light-years away, (ironically) we can’t answer them.