Stars usually mean solar systems, and there are enough exoplanets located in the ‘Goldilocks zone,’ where liquid water could at least theoretically exist. No life form on Earth is able to survive when liquid water is absent, which means that astronomers have to place their bets on the hypothesis that alien life should behave the same way.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) from Australia was used for analyzing about 10 million stars from the Vela region of space. Surprisingly enough, there was no extraterrestrial sign that could suggest the presence of other forms of life from other cosmic objects. Scientists were hoping for detecting low-frequency radio signals.
17 hours of useless observations
Astronomer Chenoa Tremblay from the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), said it crystal clear:
We observed the sky around the constellation of Vela for 17 hours, looking more than 100 times broader and deeper than ever before. With this dataset, we found no technosignatures – no sign of intelligent life.
Steven Tingay, who is a colleague of Tremblay, explains why we shouldn’t lose hope for finding aliens just yet:
And even though this was a really big study, the amount of space we looked at was the equivalent of trying to find something in Earth’s oceans, but only searching a volume of water equivalent to a large backyard swimming pool.
We might be alone in the Universe
Judging by the insane amount of galaxies and therefore stars in the observable Universe, most scientists are certain that aliens exist there, somewhere. But the truth is that science is far from figuring out exactly how life formed itself. Nobody has ever been able to create at least the simplest forms of life in a laboratory, despite all the ultra-advanced tools that modern science has nowadays.
Humans could indeed be the only intelligent species in the Universe, but yet another problem arises: isn’t this scenario even scarier than the one where we are surrounded by technologically advanced aliens?
The new research has been published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia.