Well before the “super cute” Drew Barrymore stole America’s collective heart as “Gertie” in the Steven Spielberg directed “E.T.m” people all over the world have been fascinated with alien life. Hell, you could go back a few years from there and suggest that it was Orson Wells’ radio call of H.G. Well’s “War of the World’s that is responsible for the real interest in aliens outside of books that preceded that reading that truly scared thousands of people.
1,500 hundred year wait for contacting aliens or contact from them
Now, aliens could make their presence known to us next week, that’s highly unlikely. However, if they possessed some sort of inter-galactic transporting or ultra-warp speed they could certainly just materialize in our atmosphere tonight with no advance warning. But let’s just trust that’s not going to happen.
Astronomers from Cornell University presenting research today at the American Astronomical Society’s meeting in San Diego, suggest that’s is more likely that we’re looking at about 1,500 years to come in contact with other alien beings, this of course is assuming there is life elsewhere in the universe.
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“We haven’t heard from aliens yet, as space is a big place – but that doesn’t mean no one is out there,” said Cornell student Evan Solomonides, who will make his teams presentation today in a statement ahead of the presentation today.
Why 1500 years? In a word, Fermi; in two words the Fermi Paradox. That paradox was put together by Enrico Fermi in 1950 and subsequently deconstructed by Solomonides and others. The Fermi Paradox simply states that aliens have had plenty of time to contact us by now. The team then paired its deconstruction of the Fermi Paradox with work dating to the 1500s by the mathematician Copernicus which pointed out that the Earth’s properties are not terrifically unique and likely common to other planets and aliens will find us. The combination of Copernicus’ Mediocrity Principle and Fermi’s Paradox saw the Cornell team calling 1,500 years a fair estimate. What the Earth looks like in 1,500 years is anyone’s guess and life on the planet then may not include human life for a number of reasons.
“It’s possible to hear any time at all, but it becomes likely we will have heard around 1,500 years from now,” said Solomonides. “Until then, it is possible that we appear to be alone – even if we are not. But if we stop listening or looking, we may miss the signals. So we should keep looking.”
The paper entitled “A Probabilistic Analysis of the Fermi Paradox” is co-authored by Yervant Terzian, Cornell’s Tisch Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy.
Aliens may receive our communications first
We have now been sending radio signals from Earth for the last 80 years with TV signals joining them about 65 years ago. However, even if they were received, Solomonides, believes that they would struggle to decode them for sometime given the language skills required and the need to turn light waves into sound before they endeavored to decipher them.
That said, those same TV signals have already traveled to at least 3,500 earth-like planets.
So, 1500 years would cover about half the Milky Way.
“This is not to say that we must be reached by then or else we are, in fact, alone,” said Solomonides. “We simply claim that it is somewhat unlikely that we will not hear anything before that time.”
In order to see aliens, you’re likely looking at perfected cryogenics.