Do we live alone in the universe? Can there be other civilizations in nearby galaxies?

Do we live alone in the universe? Can there be other civilizations in nearby galaxies? Astronomers and scientists have asked themselves the same question since there was evidence of the existence of other galaxies and planets than ours. This curiosity is always latent and every time new studies appear that try to explain it.

In the year 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi raised the possible existence of civilizations, or extraterrests as we usually call them, on other planets near our galaxy, as well as the possibility that they had already visited us. This theory is known in the scientific world as the Fermi paradox and many are the authors who try to give an answer.

Contact with other civilizations

What approach did Fermi reach? If we have billions of stars in the galaxy, many could be similar to the Sun and many could then live. The planets, as we have seen with Mars, may have characteristics that allow the development of intelligent life and these civilizations much older than ours may have had enough time to develop technology capable of supporting space travel.

This was his approach and, currently, this same paradox is studied but from a much broader approach, analyzing the possibility of having contact with some civilization from another planet if there were any. In fact, in 1975 astrophysicist Michael Hart analyzed this paradox and came to the conclusion that if there were intelligent life on another planet, he would have had enough time to visit the Milky Way since its formation occurred 13.6 billion years ago.

New perspectives of the Fermi paradox

Recently, researcher Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback published a study in The Astronomical Journal in which he turned around the famous Fermi paradox. This new analysis states that extraterrestrial life could be “taking time to explore the entire galaxy” by taking advantage of the movement of star systems to facilitate the jump between stars.

«If you don’t consider the movement of the stars when you try to solve this problem, you basically have one of two solutions. Either nobody leaves their planet, or in fact we are the only technological civilization in the galaxy. The stars (and the planets around them) orbit the center of the galaxy on different paths at different speeds. As they do, they occasionally cross, so aliens may be waiting for their next destination to approach them, ”the expert tells Business Insider.

exoplanets

Therefore, at this point, we can establish two options: either they have visited us in the past or they will do so in the future. The great differentiation of this study with respect to the rest is that it takes into account the movement of the galaxy. What does the study suggest? If civilizations arise in stellar systems away from others such as ours, “they could shorten the trip waiting until their orbital trajectory brings them closer to a habitable star system.”

“If enough time is a billion years, then that is a solution to Fermi’s paradox. The habitable worlds are so rare that you have to wait longer than one civilization is expected to last before another enters the range, ”concludes the author of the study.

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