First Contact Speculation

tony leather By tony leather, 30th May 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1sdzzqlz/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Science

We live in an unimaginably vast universe, and even if we just focus on the Milky Way - our own galaxy - thought to consist in excess of 300 billion stars, then if 0.0001% possessed planets hosting intelligent life, there should be literally millions, of races out there

First Contact Speculation


If our galaxy is indeed swarming with alien civilizations, a distinct lack of evidence as to their whereabouts is all humanity has - a fact at the very core of the Fermi Paradox conundrum. Highlighted in the 1950's by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi the paradox tries to understand why no extraterrestrials have ever been found.

We live in an unimaginably vast universe, and even if we just focus on the Milky Way - our own galaxy - thought to consist in excess of 300 billion stars, then if 0.0001% possessed planets hosting intelligent life, there should be literally millions, of races out there.

Contact B

Consider the paradox another way, in that there is also a distinct absence of alien artifacts, very odd considering that our sun - a third generation star which has fostered life, is far younger than many second generation stars, which should surely have done the same thing in some cases?

Had that been so, vast lengths of time in which for they could have got here - even at slow propulsion speeds currently available to modern humanity. The reason for this lack of evidence of ET could be as simple as life not being as common as we imagine, advanced races incredibly rare in actual fact.

Contact C

This could explain why alien contact has never happened, despite our having found well over 700 planets orbiting distant stars to date. Life must have evolved in many places, but even if alien civilizations are actually out there, distances and travelling time scales separating them are undoubtedly so vast that we are all effectively quarantined by the huge volumes of space which seperate us.

Considering that our nearest neighbour star is Proxima Centuari, a mere over 4 light-years away, the fact that our current technical abilities mean it still taking so many human lifetimes to get there that only a vast ship carrying many pioneer families could undertake the journey, planning for descendants of those setting out to be the ones who eventually make landfall.

Contact D

Remember also that intelligence means advanced technology - superior intelligence perhaps intent on destroying other civilizations - a superior civilization working this way might explain the absence of aliens, though perhaps not the lack of artifacts. The simple truth is that our own galaxy is but one of billions making up the universe, a body so unimaginably vast that human imagination cannot begin to comprehend it. As old as the universe is, conditions for life must be very common, yet aliens seem, on the scale of things, incredibly unlikely ever to make physical contact, simply because they cannot reach us.

Until and unless we manage - through laws of physics that we have not yet discovered - to crack the secret of safely travelling at light-speed and beyond, the chances of our ever getting beyond the confines of our own solar system, yet alone our Milky Way galaxy, are so slim as to be virtually non-existent.

Tags

Distances, First Contact, Space, Speculation, Stars, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar tony leather
mainly non-fiction articles, though I do write short stories, poetry and descriptive prose as well. Have been writing for over ten years now

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author avatar Tranquilpen
4th Jun 2012 (#)

Thank you for sharing this informative piece Tony. I shall place the link on my Twitter page.

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