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We’ve thrown a lot of disasters at Earth over the years: from asteroids and aliens, to the Sun’s death. But hey, the Universe is a dangerous place, and we’re not done yet. Now we’re going to throw a black hole into the mix, and not just any black hole, but a blazar. Black holes are usually found at the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way has a black hole that is four million times the mass of the Sun. But that’s small compared to other black holes out there. How old is the oldest blazar? Why can we see some blazars, but not others? What is the Doppler effect and how would it let us know that a blazar is on its way? What are active galactic nuclei? Do radiation and gamma rays from blazars affect the Earth? How far is Markarian 421 from us?
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What If is a mini-documentary web series that takes you on an epic journey through hypothetical worlds and possibilities. Join us on an imaginary adventure through time, space and chance while we (hopefully) boil down complex subjects in a fun and entertaining way.
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From the potential for more than one alien society to live in the Milky Way Galaxy, to the proof that they might just be out there waiting for us. Join us as we explore the fact that There may be more than 36 Alien Civilizations In The Milky Way!
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If intelligent life is out there…why haven’t they found us yet? Or why haven’t we found them yet? This is the crux of something known as the Fermi Paradox. A scientific and even philosophical question that dares to ask the question of WHY we haven’t found alien civilizations in one form or another. Granted, humanity has happily “showed” what it COULD be like to meet them via television shows, movies, cartoons, comics and novels and more. But in term of definitive proof we don’t have it…yet.
Over the course of human history there have been many “sightings” or “proof” that aliens might be out there. This is why Area 51 is such a pop culture item as well as a real-life one because we know the base is there, and yet we don’t know what’s inside it. Thus, it MUST be the place where aliens are being kept, or so some people believe.
The other thing to note here is that the sightings of aliens or alien craft is not new or even recent. If you look back at paintings going back centuries or ancient texts or drawings on caves you’ll see references to beings and craft that clearly weren’t from our world, yet someone had the image in the sights to draw about it or write it down.
But the irony, the true irony is that we may be closer to these alien civilizations than we previously believed, as they could be right here in the Milky Way Galaxy.
According to a new study, there could be more than 30 civilizations capable of long-distance communication here in the Milky Way. This work, led by researchers at the University of Nottingham, assumed that intelligent life not only exists off-Earth, but develops on other planets similarly to how it does on Earth.
“There should be at least a few dozen active civilizations in our galaxy under the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as it did on Earth,” Christopher Conselice, an astrophysicist at the University of Nottingham who led this research, said in a statement. “The idea is looking at evolution, but on a cosmic scale.”
This is a very unique way of looking at things, and many would see this as an “evolution” of thought in regards to alien life. Various institutions, including NASA and other space agencies, have accepted that alien life COULD be out there, but obviously hadn’t found proof of it yet. But what if they were just looking at it in the wrong way? Could this study be the proof we need that aliens do exist?
Well that’s a tricky question, and it brings up the question of what this team at Nottingham did to try and figure out how many civilizations could be out there the Milky Way.
To estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, the team took into account two major “Astrobiological Copernican limits”, or conditions that such an “intelligent” civilization would depend on.
For one of these limiting factors, the researchers used Earth, where life began approximately 4.54 billion years ago, as an example. They assumed that intelligent life most likely forms in less than 5 billion years. Again, using Earth as a baseplate which is fair given the context of this study.
The other factor that they figured into their study was that of the stars around the planets life could be on. They estimated that a planet with intelligent life would orbit a star like our sun (again, Earth as the template). This sun-like star would have “a metal content equal to that of the sun … (the sun is relatively speaking quite metal-rich),” Tom Westby, an assistant professor at the University of Nottingham and first author on the paper said in the same statement.
In addition to these two Astrobiological Copernican limiting criteria, the scientists factored in technological capability. The researchers figured that the number of “intelligent” civilizations depends on technological prowess, specifically how long they have been sending out some sort of signal into space (anything from radio transmissions from orbiting satellites to television). So, using our civilization as an example for a potential extraterrestrial one, the researchers estimated that humans have been “technologically advanced” for about 100 years.
Which if you think about it is actually kind of fair. If you look at our world right now, we’re reveling in technology, but go back to 1920?