According to a recent study, human civilization would have to wait for 400,000 years for their first contact with an alien species capable of communicating. This excludes a Star Trek scenario from happening anywhere in our lifetimes, or even our grandchildren.
Last month, we reported how a group of astronomers was working to send texts to a nearby star system in the hope that alien life would exist on one of its planets. These methods, contrary to the assumption that the star system has not only alien life but also civilized enough to communicate back. The other question we should look at is how many such civilizations may exist.
The Drake Equation
The Drake Equation provides a starting point to determine the number ofCommunicating Extraterrestrial Intelligent Civilizations (CETIs) that the researchers used in their analysis. It examines many factors, including the history of galactic star formation, the metallicity distributions, and the likelihood that the star has planets in the habitable zone.
While the Drake Equation is more of a thought experiment rather than a real calculation, the authors of the new study study go deeper into the idea of the planets being in the habitable zone and life becoming a CETI. It also attempts to determine at at what stage of the star''s evolution would be born a CETI. By using these parameters as variables, the authors expressed a optimistic and optimistic outlook of the scenarios.
How long would be the wait?
In an optimistic scenario, a CETI might emerge as early as 25 percent of the star''s lifetime, and each planet carries only a 0.1 percent chance that the life-form develops into a CETI. Under such a scenario, there would be over 42,000 CETIs scattered across the galaxy in different stages of their evolution. It would only take a 2,000-year wait time to reach two-way communication with them.
In a pessimistic scenario, the sun would have to cool down much more and may have crossed 75 percent of its lifetime, while there is only a 0.001 percent probability that a CETI would arise. This would reduce the probability of CETIs occurring in the Milky Way to just 111, and two-way communication with one of these would occur in the next 400,000 years.
This is the twice the amount of time human civilization has existed on the Earth, which might result in significant disruptions as a result of climate change, a rogue undetected comet strike, or even a nuclear annihilation. It is very likely that human civilization will be long gone before we even make contact and declare our existence.
The Astrophysical Journal has published this research.
Human beings are always curious about the existence of other human beings using extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations (CETIs) according to latest astrophysical data. Two poorly-known parameters have a huge impact on the results. One is the probability of life appearing on terrestrial planets and eventually evolving into a CETI (fc) and they must survive foryr (Myr) to achieve one-way communication (two-way communication). In this case, onlyCETIs may be born and they must survive forMy