Universe Today | Evan Gough | 2023 May 11
Did humanity miss the party? Are SETI, the Drake Equation, and the Fermi Paradox all just artifacts of our ignorance about Advanced Life in the Universe? And if we are wrong, how would we know?
A new study focusing on black holes and their powerful effect on star formation suggests that we, as advanced life, might be relics from a bygone age in the Universe.
Universe Today readers are familiar with SETI, the Drake Equation, and the Fermi Paradox. All three are different ways that humanity grapples with its situation. They’re all related to the Great Question: Are We Alone? We ask these questions as if humanity woke up on this planet, looked around the neighbourhood, and wondered where everyone else was. Which is kind of what has happened.
We live in an era of exoplanet discoveries, and astronomers are busy searching for planets that have a possibility of being habitable, i.e., they have liquid surface water. That’s a simple definition of habitability, but it’s useful for sorting through the thousands of exoplanets we’ve discovered and the untold millions more waiting to be discovered. Because, the a priori reasoning tells us, individual planets are the key to finding life.
But what about a more wide-angle view of habitability and, especially, other advanced life? Is combing through individual planets the way to find other life? Or are certain galaxies themselves more likely to host advanced life, which can take billions of years to evolve? Do the black holes in galaxies affect the likelihood of advanced life? ...
Advanced life peaked billions of years ago according to black holes ~ David Garofalo
- arXiv > astro-ph > arXiv:2305.04033 > 06 May 2023