Alien : As far as we know, humans are the only “advanced” civilization in the entire universe. That might not mean much, however, because we don’t possess the technology to observe the surface of planets outside of our own solar system,
And we have only managed to even detect a tiny fraction of the worlds in our home galaxy, much less the rest of the universe.
Scientists have long tried to use math to calculate the probability that life exists somewhere other than Earth. The problem is that with just one single data point in the “life” column, it can feel more like a blind guess than an actual calculation. Now, researchers from the University of Nottingham have come up with what they believe is a reasonable guess for the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, and it’s a bit of a shock.
As the researcher explains, based on what we think we know about the formation of RNA, conditions have to be just right for it to exist, with its building blocks rarely existing in high enough quantity for there to even be a chance that pops into existence. In fact, this high-stakes numbers game suggests that a region of space as large as our observable universe had only a small chance to harbor the conditions for RNA to form, yet here we are.
So, the question remains: Does life exist out there somewhere or are there any Alien? The scientist says that yes, it almost certainly does, but there’s a really good chance we’ll never, ever find it.
“There is more to the universe than the observable,” Professor Tomonori Totani, author of the work, said in a statement. “In contemporary cosmology, it is agreed the universe underwent a period of rapid inflation producing a vast region of expansion beyond the horizon of what we can directly observe. Factoring this greater volume into models of abiogenesis hugely increases the chances of life occuring.”
Totani argues that while the current number of stars in the observable universe is estimated to be approximately 10 sextillion (or 10^22), the number of stars in a model that accounts for universe inflation may be over 10 googol (or 10^100). If that is the case, that’s a huge petri dish within which RNA, and life, could form.
That’s great news for anyone who dreams of a cosmos with other forms of life, but actually finding that life presents its own wealth of challenges. At this point in our history, we’ve not yet mastered the art of traveling to other worlds, much less other stars and galaxies where the Alien are, and we’ve certainly not come close to imagining what it might take to travel outside of the bubble of our current observable universe.
Put simply, the numbers suggest that life does exist somewhere out there. Unfortunately for us, it probably exists in locations so distant that we may never, ever come close to find it. Bummer.
This news was originally published at bgr.com