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Scientists Estimate At Least 36 Alien Civilizations Exist In Our Galaxy

Portrait of an alien. Getty

by MadMikesAmerica

When asked the meaning of life, the supercomputer in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came up with a very specific answer: 42. Tasked with a different Big Question—how many intelligent alien civilizations exist in our galaxy—real-life scientists have gotten just as specific: 36.

That’s the estimate from a team of researchers out of the University of Nottingham in England, reports the Guardian. The estimate is based on a big assumption: that life elsewhere in the Milky Way would form in generally the same way as it did on Earth.

Starting from that premise, researchers crunched data on existing stars, exoplanets, conditions, etc., and came up with a range of four to 211, with 36 being the most likely number, according to the study in the Astrophysical Journal.

“The classic method for estimating the number of intelligent civilizations relies on making guesses of values relating to life, whereby opinions about such matters vary quite substantially,” says co-author Tom Westby.

He’s referring to the long-standing Drake equation, which results in not-so-helpful estimates ranging from zero to billions, per a news release. “Our new study simplifies these assumptions using new data, giving us a solid estimate of the number of civilizations in our galaxy.”

Alas, the study figures the nearest one to be 17,000 light-years away, making communication a little difficult. Researchers estimate our own civilization would have to last more than 6,000 years before any two-way communication could take place.

A weak point of the study? That original assumption that Earth is a handy model, a skeptical scientist tells Live Science.

Edited via Newser.

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Posted by on June 20, 2020. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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5 Responses to Scientists Estimate At Least 36 Alien Civilizations Exist In Our Galaxy

  1. Call Me Steve Reply

    June 20, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    One of the dumber species lives in the White House.

  2. jess Reply

    June 21, 2020 at 1:29 am

    Ya no, I watch DC Legends and all the multiuniverse shows and they don’t show this so it cannot be true at all 😉

  3. Linda Reply

    June 21, 2020 at 7:08 am

    The dumbtard is killing off his stupidest supporters. Now we will be seeing evolution up close as our human species evolves improved intelligence.

    • Rachael Reply

      June 21, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      Ha! Evolution up close it is. Did you see those Trumpers in Tulsa?

  4. Glenn Geist Reply

    June 21, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Evolution is brutal. Adding an IQ point or so might require nearly all of us to die – or more probably we’ll just die.

    But this is no better than the Drake equation because both make the assumption that evolution has a direction and the direction is toward air-breathing creatures that can and do build radios. The only predictable end to a species is extinction.

    Evolution follows chaos theory – an unending serious of random, unpredictable, and highly unlikely accidents.

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