Scan of millions of stars finds no signs of intelligent alien life

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 17, 2022, 09:42 AM(IST)

Representative Image Photograph:( Others )

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Are we truly alone in the universe?

It is perhaps a scary thought for humankind to consider itself the only intelligent life sitting on this blue planet hurtling in space. Perhaps search for intelligent alien life has been a major preoccupation of scientific communities and even governments for decades. Projects after projects have not yielded any sign of aliens but relying on the statistical probability of there being intelligent life on at least one of billions of planets in space, we've pressed on with our search.

But a comprehensive sky scan has again met with disappointment as intelligent alien life was not found.

Detection of radio waves is one of the ways to search for alien life. By our scientific logic, a civilization achieves radio transmission early in its technological development.

The sky scan was carried out using Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Australia. The sensors to receive any radio signals were pointed at our galactic centre as it is the place within our galaxy with maximum concentration of stars and planets. So the probability of detecting intelligent alien life is higher. 

Radio waves are also produced naturally by celestial bodies. So the sky scan looked for technosignatures. These are effects generated by use of technology by the alien civilization.

The scan was aimed at 144 exoplanetary systems but it also completed a blind scan of 3 million stars near the galactic centre. The researchers involved in the serach mentioned in their paper that no technosignature was detected. 

But does this conclusively prove that there no alien life at all? No.

Non-detection of technosignatures in this particular sky scan does not mean that there are no more technosignatures to be detected. If not advanced, life may even exist on alien planets in the form of microbes. We are just yet to stumble upon a conclusive proof.

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