Life, as we know it, cannot simply emerge under the right conditions and by having enough time to trigger evolution. Life is far too complex for scientists ever to create it in the laboratory. Nobody denies that humanity has made tremendous progress in understanding how different organisms work, but the DNA itself requires the intervention of a much more intelligent source.
Therefore, regardless of how huge the Universe is, common sense tells us that there should be thousands or even millions of light-years that are separating planets that harbor intelligent life. And what a team of astronomers is saying confirms that scenario.
36 CETI civilizations in the Milky Way
Researchers from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham calculated that the number of communicating extraterrestrial intelligent (CETI) civilizations within our Milky Way Galaxy is 36. However, don’t open the champagne just yet! The same scientists are claiming that the nearest alien civilization to us is located at 17,000 light-years, which means that we would never be able to reach it with our current technology.
However, the researchers involved admit that they made the calculations based on how life evolved on Earth. Professor Christopher Conselice, who is the lead author of the study, declared:
There should be at least a few dozen active CETI civilizations in our Galaxy under the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as on Earth,
The idea is looking at evolution, but on a cosmic scale. We call this calculation the Astrobiological Copernican Limit.
However, aliens should never worry that they will not find an empty seat for admiring the beauties of the Cosmos. The Milky Way has about 100,000 light-years in diameter and between 100 billion and 200 billion stars, which means it has plenty of places where life can dwell.
The team’s study paper was published in the Astrophysical Journal.