Skip to comments.Intelligent Civilizations Rarer than One in a Million
Posted on 03/22/2013 6:37:25 AM PDT by null and void
￼ UC SETI physicists plan to monitor stars with two transiting planets in hopes of eavesdropping on interplanet communications. Because these signals would be narrowly beamed, they would be stronger and, thus, more easily detected from Earth.
NASAs Kepler mission has identified 2,740 planets orbiting other stars, but do any of them harbor intelligent life?
Scientists at UC Berkeley now have used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of these stars. While discovering no telltale signs of life, the researchers calculate that fewer than one in a million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy have planetary civilizations advanced enough to transmit beacons we could detect.
We didnt find ET, but we were able to use this statistical sample to, for the first time, put rather explicit limits on the presence of intelligent civilizations transmitting in the radio band where we searched, said Andrew Siemion, who recently received his Ph.D. in astronomy from UC Berkeley.
Even with such odds, there could be millions of advanced civilizations in the galaxy.
The Kepler mission taught us there are a trillion planets in our Milky Way Galaxy, more planets than there are stars, said UC Berkeley physicist Dan Werthimer, who heads the worlds longest running SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project at the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico. Some day, Earthlings might contact civilizations billions of years ahead of us.
Siemion, Werthimer and their colleagues published their findings online in a paper that has been accepted to The Astrophysical Journal.
The 86 stars were chosen last year based on a list of 1,235 planet candidates known at that time. The scientists chose stars with five or six planet candidates in orbit and those that hosted planets that are thought to have Earth-like conditions, including temperatures that allow liquid water. The telescope, funded by the National Science Foundation, spent 12 hours collecting five minutes of radio emissions from each star in a frequency range (1.1 1.9 GHz) that on Earth falls between the cellphone and TV bands. They then combed through the data looking for high-intensity signals with a narrow bandwidth (5 Hz) that are only produced artificially presumably by intelligent life.
Most of the stars were more than 1,000 light years away, so only signals intentionally aimed in our direction would have been detected. The scientists say that, in the future, more sensitive radio telescopes, such as the Square Kilometer Array, should be able to detect much weaker radiation, perhaps even unintentional leakage radiation, from civilizations like our own.
The team plans more observations with the Green Bank Telescope, focusing on multi-planet systems in which two of the planets occasionally align relative to Earth, potentially allowing them to eavesdrop on communications between the planets.
This work illustrates the power of leveraging our latest understanding of exoplanets in SETI searches, Werthimer said. We no longer have to guess about whether we are targeting Earth-like environments, we know it with certainty.
Coauthors of the study are Eric Korpela, Matt Lebofsky, Jeff Cobb and Geoff W. Marcy of UC Berkeley; Andrew W. Howard of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, Manoa; Paul Demorest, Ron J. Maddalena and Glen Langston of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO); and Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA.
The research was funded by a NASA Exobiology grant and donations from the Friends of Berkeley SETI and the Friends of SETI@home. The Green Bank Telescope is operated by NRAO under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities.
Could it be...
Rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh, you touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding. There is a realm of existence so far beyond your own you cannot even imagine it. I am beyond your comprehension. I am Sovereign.
Reaper? A label created by the Protheans to give voice to their destruction. In the end, what they chose to call us is irrelevant. We simply... are.
Organic life is nothing but a genetic mutation, an accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither and die. We are eternal, the pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing. Your extinction is inevitable. We are the end of everything.
Confidence born of ignorance. The cycle cannot be broken. The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Organic civilizations rise, evolve, advance, and at the apex of their glory they are extinguished. The Protheans were not the first. They did not create the Citadel. They did not forge the mass relays. They mere found them - the legacy of my kind. Your civilization is based on the technology of the mass relays. Our technology. By using it, your civilization develops along the paths we desire.
We impose order on the chaos of organic life. You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it. My kind transcends your very understanding.
We are each a nation - independent, free of all weakness. You cannot grasp the nature of our existence. We have no beginning. We have no end. We are infinite. Millions of years after your civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, we will endure.
We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers will darken the sky of every world. You cannot escape your doom.
As always, we don’t need life we can talk to. We need life we can eat.
It’s been my observation that intelligent humans are rarer than one in a million.
so, that’s why I haven’t found one yet
This sentence illustrates what a bunch of frauds these SETI guys are.
IT’S A COOKBOOK!!!!
In some of the radio bands, they found evidence of alien NPR and "Morning Zoo" radio shows but that didn't provide the evidence they were looking for.
That's what the alien invaders said...and that's why they like Earth and humans.
oops, broke me promise, but this could not be left unaddressed.
“They’re made out of meat.”
Color me skeptical.
If you count the number of known civilizations that have been identified in our Milky Way you find there is only one and it's ours. I would like to know how you extrapolate one point to one in a million.
They are guessing. It could be one billion just as easy. Or one in a thousand. Or just one.
I know of one “Intelligent” organism that finds it more pratical to raise cows, pigs, and chickens, than to travel light years away for an exotic snack.
Perhaps they are just bending the space time continuum and are like some humans...explorers. And like armies of old, they eat off the land.
There is probably life on other planets, but I imagine that intelligent life is very rare. I imagine that “advanced intelligent” life being out there is probably 1 in 90 billion trillion.
There are so many independent variables involved for a being to progress to the point of space exploration - it’s mind boggling. And at any point in the line they could eradicate themselves through war, famine, disease, etc.
We could have even been visited before like some of those drawings infer from the Indian scripts, but those guys probably nuked themselves out of existence some 4,000 years ago and never came back.
We’re pretty much alone.
Counting on radio waves is problematic.
We had intelligent life on this planet for tens of thousands of years, we’ve had radio for just over 100 years.
Further, the presumption that we will forever onward continue to communicate with broadcast radio waves of sufficient power to reach another solar system may be a false one. It may turn out that there is a very small technological window when high powered radio waves are common to a developing civilization.
Given that there is no reason to assume that alien intelligent life would be restricted by our moral codes, why do we want to force contact? What we really want to find is a planet full of unintelligent life, that we can colonize.
And that’s just on the earth.
Before we colonize space, we must first advance to the point that we no longer have socialists. Otherwise we are infecting the entire galaxy, like small pox in the New World.
I hate to think that the first thing humans would do upon arriving at an alien world is sign up for welfare.