The Milky Way might be teeming with interstellar alien civilizations, based on new research. We do not know about it because they have not paid us a visit in 10 million years.
The research, published last month in The Astronomical Journal, posits that intelligent extraterrestrial life might be taking its time to discover the galaxy, harnessing star systems’ motion to make star-jumping easier.
The question generally called the Fermi Paradox, which asks why human haven’t caught signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
The paradox was first professed by physicist Enrico Fermi, who urged: “Where is everyone?”
Fermi was investigating the probability of travel between stars; however, since then, his question has come to symbolize doubts in regards to the real existence of the extraterrestrials.
Astrophysicist Michael Hart investigated the subject formally when he discussed in a 1975 paper that there was an excess of time for intelligent life to colonize the Milky Way in the 13.6 billion years since formed, yet we have heard nothing from them.
Hart concluded that there should be no other advanced civilizations in our galaxy.
The new research gives a unique perspective on the question: Perhaps aliens are just taking their time and being strategic, the authors suggest.
Stars planets orbit the center of the galaxy on different paths at different speeds. As they do, they occasionally pass each other, Carroll-Nellenback pointed out. So aliens might be waiting for their next destination to come closer to them, his research says.
In that case, civilizations would take longer to spread across the stars than Hart estimated. So they could not have reached us but - or maybe they did, long before humans evolved.