The question of whether we are alone in the universe or not has been asked ever since the beginning of humanity. Our ancestors have looked up to the sky and often wondered if this place of mystery is actually a home to magical and powerful beings. Later on, we developed some technological advancements that allowed humanity to see the stars, and we soon knew that there were other planets, just like our very own Earth, floating around in the cosmos. Surely, this has to mean that at least one of such planets is hosting life?

Calculating extraterrestrial probability

In the year 1961, Dr. Frank Drake proposed a mathematical formula that assumes the possibility of life in our galaxy. The formula contains variables such as the number of stars that have planets, the number of those planets which are in the habitable zone (appropriate distance from the star), and the time it takes for a technologically advanced civilization to develop. Dr. Frank Drake hosted a meeting with other renowned scientists at the time, and they ended up concluding that using this formula, there is possibly between 1000 and 100,000,000 civilizations in our Milky Way Galaxy.

The dangers of searching for intelligent life

The possibility of contacting an alien civilization is certainly thrilling and it has been a major motivation for astronomers and scientists around the world to go searching the sky for signs.

One of the most important efforts to contact an alien civilization is known as the SETI program or Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. By this program, our planet has been emitting radio signals into space in hopes that someone, or something, will hear us. We have even shot out probes into space containing images of humans, and a map on how to find us.

But some scientists are not so eager about this whole idea. In fact, 28 scientists and leaders have recently gathered to sign a petition to stop emitting any signals that may capture the attention of other intelligent beings in space. Two of these people are, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Doctor Stephen Hawking, as well as the business magnate and founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk.

Musk shared his fears in these words: “We know nothing of ETI’s intentions and capabilities, and it is impossible to predict whether ETI will be benign or hostile.”

Dr. Stephen Hawking is searching for alien life forms in his own studies and has been for years now. He is pushing hard to make a discovery.

Possible signs of life

There are some interesting signs that we have already witnessed which have baffled scientists for some time. For example, NASA has recently discovered a solar system which has seven earth-like planets which could possibly host life, and which is located only 40 light years away from us, a small distance in terms of space.

One of the most interesting mysteries has been a star named KIC 8462852, the so-called Tabby’s star.

This star has been showing signs of decreasing the amount of light it emits in amounts that don’t fit into any logical-physical explanation. So naturally, the wildest theories were born from that, like the one which proposes that a gargantuan alien structure is enveloping the star in order to capture its energy.

And last but not least, the mysterious object located three billion light years away which has shot blasts of radio signals captured by our radio observatories on earth. If you’re wondering, there are no voices in the radio signals. The scary fact about this is, the signals have traveled three billion light years to reach us. Which means that if there actually were aliens transmitting them, they did so three billion years ago, and therefore are now three billion years more evolved than us.

There are many theories and predictions about alien life in the universe. Some choose to believe in their existence, and some don’t, while many are arguing about how we should approach it. Whatever the truth is, there is still plenty of space to look at.