“Using modern data the scientists behind a new paper proposed that there should be around 36 different CETI’s (Communicating Extra-terrestrial Intelligent Civilizations) in the Milky Way Galaxy,” says popular science YouTube star Anton Petrov. “For this particular study, they took what we know about planet Earth to try and discover similar other locations somewhere in the galaxy where obviously similar conditions could lead to other life as we have on earth.”
Anton Petrov, host of the YouTube channel “What Da Math” with over 526,000 subscribers, discusses a new scientific paper that finds there are likely at least 36 intelligent earth-like civilizations in our galaxy:
New Solution To the Fermi Paradox
A new paper finds another solution to the Fermi paradox by proposing the reworking of the so-called Drake equation. This is the famous equation that tries to calculate how many potential extra-terrestrial intelligent civilizations there should be in our vicinity. Most of the time the results (of studies like this) suggest that there should be actual civilizations around us or at least somewhere in the galaxy.
But every once in a while we do have to rework the equation simply because we collect more data in regards to various exoplanets out there. As of 2020, we’ve discovered over 4,000 different exoplanets and we now have a pretty good picture of how many different types of planets there are and also what kinds of stars usually have these terrestrial planets and how many of these stars do often have terrestrial planets in the habitable zone.
Study Finds 36 Intelligent Civilizations In Our Galaxy
Using the modern data the scientists behind this paper proposed that there should be around 36 different CETI’s (Communicating Extra-terrestrial Intelligent Civilizations) in the Milky Way Galaxy. A lot of their ideas are based on the modern understanding of the galactic formation and the formation of stars in different galaxies. Most importantly, it involves the idea of metalicity. Metalicity in astronomy refers to pretty much everything except for hydrogen and helium. Hydrogen and helium are non-metals where everything else is considered to be metals.
We know that planetary formation depends on metallicity. The more metallic the star is the more likely it is going to have terrestrial planets and even other planets orbiting around it. Stars that are low in metallicity will either have gas giants or might not even have planets at all. When it comes to metallicity in galaxies we even have this term known as the galactic habitable zone. Essentially, in a typical galaxy we think that the inner part of the galaxy is not really habitable. First of all it has low metallicity and secondly it is usually very active and has a lot of different flares going on, usually from the black hole itself.
Scientists Seek To Discover Earth Replicas
Most of the stars on the outskirts are the only areas where we could possibly find terrestrial planets capable of supporting life. So in order for us to find life somewhere, we need to be looking at areas of high metallicity and away from the black hole. All of this comes into consideration when trying to work out this new 2020 edition of the Drake Equation.
For this particular study, they took what we know about planet Earth to try and discover similar other locations somewhere in the galaxy where obviously similar conditions could lead to other life as we have on earth. They are looking at stars that are four to five billion years old and that are in habitable zones and have metallicity that is similar to the ones in our own solar system. Basically, what the scientists behind this paper are trying to discover are the replicas of the solar system in our own galaxy.
Potentially 200 Intelligent Civilizations In Milky Way
The scientist behind this paper make a very important assumption that it is very likely that many civilizations do go extinct. Before they go extinct they make an assumption that every civilization will have at least 100 years of communication using very similar devices to what we have here. Basically, electromagnetic communication using radio waves to communicate to the rest of the world and of course the rest of the galaxy.
They make the assumption that somewhere out there there are similar species to humans that are trying to reach out and are trying to search for extraterrestrial intelligence living on planets very similar to planet Earth around stars similar to our own Sun. One of their more strict assumptions is that their planet has to be about 4.5 to 5.5 billion years old and they’re also in a very similar stage of advancement and in a very similar stage of their intelligence to humans.
If you take all of these numbers into consideration we actually come up with a number that is about 36. The lowest number (per the study) of intelligent civilizations is 4 and the highest number is over 200. If all of them are equally distributed across the galaxy this means that the nearest such civilization to us is going to be at a distance of about 17,000 light-years away. The closest distance potentially being 7,000 light-years.