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Researchers discuss the “great silence” from extraterrestrials

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Not long ago, a group of scientists came together to try and understand why our messages to extraterrestrials have so far remained unanswered. For years, humans have sent messages to outer space in hope that they will receive a response from an intelligent civilization.  So far these messages have been sent in vain.  

An important meeting

On the 18 March 2019, the METI International organisation organised a meeting in their headquarters in the Cité des science in Paris.  This Institute is focused on contacting extraterrestrial intelligence groups.  However the main purpose of this recent meeting was to understand why, for years, there has been no response from our messages to space. Douglas Vakoch, the president of the METI, believes this is an important fact that should be discussed. However we don’t know with any certitude that there are extraterrestrials in space.

According to Florence Raulin-Cerceau, a doctor in astronomy and a conference lecturer at the The National Museum of Natural History, knowing whether we are alone in the universe or not is it is an unavoidable question.  The METI organisation has dedicated itself to sending message to outerspace via the SETI programme.  Other alternatives do exist like the Breakthrough Listen programme.  Although this group have not yet lost hope they have failed in their attempts so far.

Why has there been no message?

Research into another civilization living on another planet might not be successful yet, however our understanding of the universe has greatly evolved.  In 2014 the Kepler 186f discovery give us hope there could be an earth shaped planet with livable conditions due to its distance from its star (Kepler -186). Theoretically the temperatures here could be suitable for liquid which is necessary for life.-Pierre Rospars – research director at INRA – has stated  that life on Earth has appeared several times independently in different groups. According to him, it could be a type of rule that is not an accident specific to the Earth.

Credits : Wikipedia

What is more our cognitive level is important. In fact, there is nothing to suggest that Humans have reached their maximum level of development.  This means that there could be higher levels of evolution, and these levels could have been reached elsewhere. Some of the assumptions of why there has been no contact include a potential difference in cognitive level. However a willingness of these possible civilizations to remain silent to avoid any destabilization is another theory. It would then be possible for many civilizations to live for tens of thousands of years without meeting!

Distance is also another factor. CNRS astrophysicist Nicolas Prantzos reminds us that it is perhaps impossible to contact and even less possible to visit these civilizations, even if they exist. For example, Kepler-186f is between 490 and 500 light years from our planet! The fastest human built object German program Helios 2 probe which can travel at 253 000 km / h which was launched in 1976.  A spaceship going at this speed would take two million years before reaching Kepler-186f

Sources : Le Point – Sciences et Avenir – TVA Nouvelles

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