Published: 16th June 2020
Milky Way Galaxy may be home to 36 active intelligent civilisations other than us, says study
They calculate that there could be over 30 active communicating intelligent civilizations in our home Galaxy," the university said in a press release, summing up the research
Our galaxy could be home to some 36 active intelligent civilizations, a study led by the University of Nottingham has said.
The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal on Monday. "Using the assumption that intelligent life forms on other planets in a similar way as it does on Earth, researchers have obtained an estimate for the number of intelligent communicating civilizations within our own galaxy — the Milky Way.
They calculate that there could be over 30 active communicating intelligent civilizations in our home Galaxy," the university said in a press release, summing up the research. The study developed what they call the Astrobiological Copernican Limit principle.
"The two Astrobiological Copernican limits are that intelligent life forms in less than 5 billion years, or after about 5 billion years â similar to on Earth where a communicating civilization formed after 4.5 billion years. In the strong criteria, whereby a metal content equal to that of the Sun is needed (the Sun is relatively speaking quite metal rich), we calculate that there should be around 36 active civilizations in our Galaxy," Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Nottingham, Christopher Conselice, who led the research, explained.
The average distance to these civilizations, however, would be 17,000 light-years away, which makes detection and communication extremely difficult with our present technology, the researchers say. They are at the same time not ruling out that "we are the only civilization within our Galaxy unless the survival times of civilizations like our own are long. "Professor Conselice believes that the new research should give clues for how long our civilization will last. If no active civilizations are found in our galaxy, it is a "bad sign for our own long-term existence," according to the professor.
The search for extraterrestrial intelligent life, even if unsuccessful, will still help to find more about "our own future and fate," Conselice concluded.