Thu. Feb 25th, 2021


Maybe its time to search for extraterrestrial civilizations that existed in a distant past?

A new research article published on arXiv.org presents an interesting statistical modeling of how intelligent life could have been distributed throughout the entire space of the Milky Way over the course of its existence.

Our Milky Way. Image credit: Denis Degioanni from Unsplash

According to different galaxy age estimation methods, our Milky Way is around 12-13 billion years old. From logical perspective, during such a vast time scale and given an extremely large number of stars contained in the galaxy, intelligent life forms could have emerged many times, in different locations. In the same way, those intelligent life forms could have gone extinct due to different reasons.

In a certain sense, the new paper improves the famous Drake equation, which since 1961 has been used to estimate the number of active civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy, based on a number of approximate parameters. The authors of this research present their own version which can ‘do’ a bit more: to tell where and when life could have formed, while also factoring in parameters potentially leading to its destruction, including possibility of self-destruction.





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