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The Fermi paradox is the contrast between the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the universe and the lack of evidence for it.

When We Find Aliens, We Might Find Something Like the Borg

This is a significant conundrum. On the one hand, there is a strong sense that the conditions on Earth that led to the emergence of life cannot be unique. This makes it seem likely that life must be common. But on the other, astronomers have scoured the cosmic haystack for the needle that would represent signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and come up with nothing.

As a result, many observers have concluded that there are no obvious signs. Others disagree. Back in , the astronomer Jill Tarter and colleagues argued that alien radio beacons could be obvious and common in our galaxy but that astronomers would not know because their searches have been incomplete.

Bizarre Alien Life Forms - Known Universe: Alien Contact

Today, we get an answer thanks to the work of Jason Wright and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University. These guys have characterized the parameter space that astronomers need to search for signs of alien life.

Universal criteria

They say this space is so vast that SETI searches so far have done little more than scratch the surface. They begin by creating a mathematical model of the search space astronomers need to explore and then calculate what fraction has been investigated so far. Authors view affiliations J.


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Front Matter Pages i-ix. Pages Front Matter Pages Astrophysical Factors. Planetary Considerations. Biological Factors. This means Earth is literally one in a million planets to have both a stabilizing moon and a Jupiter-like protector. And 1. Laird Close contributed to this article.

Would We Know Alien Life If We Saw It?

Jonny is a freelance writer and novelist who lives in Sterling, Virginia. He has written for The Great Courses since and enjoys studying the courses as much as writing about them. Contact Jonny at news thegreatcoursesdaily.


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