Image credit : The New Yorker
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have developed a new theory to explain why we have never found evidence of extraterrestrial life.
The Astronomical Journal has published the study.
“We’ve only been looking for 60 years,” biophysicist Claudio Grimaldi told Science Alert. “Earth could simply be in a bubble that just happens to be devoid of radio waves emitted by extraterrestrial life.”
The researcher said that because there is so much area to cover, it’s possible that not enough alien communications will come our way.
But the scientist advised us to exercise patience. The biophysicist claimed that searching for signs of communication in the cosmos takes time, money, and resources, and that the value of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is up for debate.
The research model showed that it has been assumed that the Earth has been in a silent bubble (or sponge pore) for at least 60 years and that there is at least one electromagnetic signal of technological origin in the Milky Way.
According to the scientist, if such is the case, then statistically speaking, there are no more than five electromagnetic transmissions in our galaxy every century. Or, to put it another way, they occur in the Milky Way about as frequently as supernovae, according to Science Alert.
A strike on an alien signal may not occur for at least 60 years, according to the scientist.
“We may have been unlucky in that we discovered how to use radio telescopes just as we were crossing a portion of space in which electromagnetic signals from other civilizations were absent,” says Claudio Grimaldi. “To me, this hypothesis seems less extreme than assuming that we are constantly bombarded by signals from all sides but are, for some reason, unable to detect them.”
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We still have a lot of room to cover in the hunt, the scientist said. Grimaldi contends that commensal studies, as opposed to deploying telescopes specifically to search for alien communications, are the best course of action for finding signals in data gathered by telescopes that are focused on other missions.
“The best strategy might be to adopt the SETI community’s past approach of using data from other astrophysical studies – detecting radio emissions from other stars or galaxies – to see if they contain any technosignals and make that the standard practice,” says Grimaldi.