Astronomers, Even Solomonides and Yervant Terzian, will be presenting a study at this month’s American Astronomical Society that claims Earthlings shouldn’t expect to hear from aliens for another 1,500 years. The reasons? Because the Milky Way Galaxy is enormous, and humanity, by comparison, is nothing special.
The Cornell University researchers rectified the Fermi Paradox (suggesting that we should have made alien contact by now) with the 500 year-old Mediocrity Principal that states, according to mathematician Copernicus, that there is nothing extraordinary about Earth or our place in the cosmic balance of things.
According to the Fermi Paradox, the billions of Earth-like planets in our galaxy should have yielded alien contact by now—but they haven’t. This is due to the fact that Earth’s physical attributes and natural processes are, more than likely, actually commonplace throughout the cosmos.
In other words: we inhabit a mediocre planet.
“Even our mundane, typical spiral galaxy—not exceptionally large compared to other galaxies—is vast beyond imagination,” Solomonides said in a press statement. “Those numbers are what make the Fermi Paradox so counterintuitive. We have reached so many stars and planets, surely we should have reached somebody by now, and in turn been reached… this demonstrates why we appear to be alone.”
For the past 80 years, humans have been broadcasting TV and radio signals into space—amounting to hypothetic contact with roughly 8,531 stars and 3,555 Earth-like planets. But according to Solomonides, even if aliens receive them, they would first need to decode the light waves into sounds, and then sift through some 3,000 human languages in order to understand the message.
“Until then, it is possible that we appear to be alone—even if we are not. But if we stop listening or looking, we may miss the signals. So we should keep looking,” Solomonides said.
That being said, Earth may begin to hear from alien beings when about half of the Milky Way Galaxy has been signaled—about 1,500 years from now.
“We are on the third planet around a tediously boring star surrounded by other completely normal stars about two-thirds of the way along one of several arms of a remarkably average spiral galaxy. The mediocrity principle is the idea that because we are not in any special location in the universe, we should not be anything special in the universe.”
So what are you waiting for? Go eat that giant chocolate cupcake you’ve been eyeing; in the grand scheme of the universe, does it really matter?
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense