Earth in a bubble: scientist explains why people can't hear aliens and when contact may occur

Dmitry IvancheskulLife
The Earth may be in a bubble, with signals from extraterrestrial civilisations passing by

Humanity has been actively trying to catch at least some technological signals of extraterrestrial life for 60 years. Some may think that this is enough time to admit that there is no extraterrestrial life and stop all searches. But the very fact of the complete absence of extraterrestrial signals is also eloquent.

Dr Claudio Grimaldi, a scientist at the Laboratory of Statistical Biophysics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is thinking about this. In a study published in The Astronomical Journal, he suggests that the Earth is simply trapped in a conditional bubble, through which all the signals of developed civilisations pass.

"We are looking for only 60 years. The Earth may simply be in a bubble that happens to be devoid of radio waves emitted by extraterrestrial life," Grimaldi says.

Based on the theory that the Earth has been in an empty space for 60 years, the biophysicist suggests that it is likely that "anywhere in our galaxy there are fewer than one to five electromagnetic bursts per century".

"This makes them about as rare as supernovae in the Milky Way," Grimaldi explained.

As part of his research, Grimaldi developed a model that assumed that technological emitters of extraterrestrial origin are evenly distributed throughout our Milky Way galaxy, constantly broadcasting a signal into space.

Based on the calculations, he voiced three options for when such a signal could cross the bubble in which the Earth is located.

According to the most optimistic scenario, the signal could come across our planet in 60 years. A moderately optimistic scenario states that we will have to wait 170 years for such a signal. The least optimistic scenario suggests that the extraterrestrial signal and the Earth may cross only 1800 years later.

"Perhaps we were unlucky in that we discovered how to use radio telescopes just as we were crossing a section of space that was free of electromagnetic signals from other civilisations. This hypothesis seems less extreme to me than the assumption that we are constantly bombarded with signals from all sides, but for some reason we are unable to detect them," Universe Today quoted the scientist as saying.

He also admitted that outer space is too vast to easily detect a signal from another civilisation.

"The truth is, we don't know where to look, at what frequencies and wavelengths," the biophysicist said.

The main project that searches for extraterrestrial life is SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). This project unites a network of ground-based radio telescopes that carefully listen to space for technological signals. However, such searches are time-consuming and require analysis of the data.

Grimaldi proposes to combine these searches with data obtained from other telescope studies. In this way, SETI radio telescopes could look for signs of civilisation not blindly, but around stars where there are exoplanets that have hints of life.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also told the story of receiving the extraterrestrial WOW signal.

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