New Calculation Shows We’ll Make Contact With Aliens in About 1,500 Years

New Calculation Shows We’ll Make Contact With Aliens in About 1,500 Years
June 16 16:40 2016 Print This Article

(GIZMODO) – The disturbing Fermi Paradox suggests we should have made contact with an extraterrestrial civilization by now, yet we haven’t. By applying a 500-year-old philosophical principle, a Cornell University researcher has shown that the Great Silence is not unexpected—we just need to give it more time.

In a new study that will be presented at an American Astronomical Society meeting later this month, astronomers Even Solomonides and Yervant Terzian combine the Fermi Paradox with the Mediocrity Principle to show that we shouldn’t expect to hear from aliens for another 1,500 years. The reason has to do with the vastness of the Milky Way Galaxy, the time it takes radio signals to propagate through space as well as the apparent “averageness” of humanity in the larger scope of things.

“It’s possible to hear any time at all, but it becomes likely we will have heard around 1,500 years from now,” noted Solomonides in a press statement. “Until then, it is possible that we appear to be alone—even if we are not. But if we stop listening or looking, we may miss the signals. So we should keep looking.”

As physicist Enrico Fermi noted nearly a half-century ago, the Milky Way may be huge and full of stars—200 billion give or take a few—but there’s been more than enough time for aliens to have made their presence known in one form or another. Many solutions have been posited to answer this apparent paradox, but nothing conclusive.

The mediocrity principle, devised by the 16th century mathematician Copernicus, suggests there’s nothing unusual or special about Earth, humanity, and our place in the cosmos, and that if anything we’re actually quite banal in large scheme of things.

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