Humans have been trying to contact aliens for decades and whistling in the wind is all we’ve heard in response. It’s enough to make you wonder if any other intelligent life is out there.
A large number of people believe that it’s possible we are the most advanced civilization and everyone else is already behind us, or that perhaps we are indeed alone.
Though, I have trouble believing this. The Drake equation proposes that there should be hundreds of thousands of civilizations similar to ours and many that are more advanced.
Our universe alone is roughly 13.8 billion years old and it’s mind-boggling to think that we are the first to have developed during that time.
However, an idea that has always fascinated me is what if there are indeed a large number of advanced civilizations out there?
Maybe they’ve been communicating with each other for years in ways we can’t comprehend. The signals we have been sending out could be so primitive that they aren’t even picking them up.
How Would They or We Miss Each Other?
As for potential conversations between civilizations that we may be missing, it’s quite simple why we could be oblivious.
Some believe laser pulses being shot out into the universe by other civilizations were missed by us because we were not looking for them.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI, has recently developed a new detection system known as Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System, or VERITA.
This technology is meant to scan the universe for short flashes of light near stars, as powerful pulses would temporarily dim the light of a star in comparison.
In essence, researchers think humans may have been scanning the night sky for the wrong kind of signals.
Another common theory doesn’t revolve around light pulses, but rather Neutrino Signals.
No, not the Neutrino Bomb from Rick and Morty.
Our society relies heavily on radio signals as a form of communication and we run on the assumption that other societies would use this form as well. However, some believe Neutrino particles could be used as communication.
A Neutrino particle is a subatomic particle that results from radioactive decay. These particles interact with objects very weakly which allows them to easily pass through solid matter.
For this reason, scientists believe advanced civilizations may have evolved to use them as a communication method instead of traditional radio waves.
Unfortunately for humans, Neutrino particles are incredibly difficult to detect and require highly specialized, expensive equipment. They can also be disrupted by electromagnetic waves, so facilities capable of intercepting them must be secured.
Additionally, a few years ago the first gravitational waves were discovered. This opened the door to many new areas of physics, but alien communication was also touched upon.
A team of researchers found through a gauntlet of experiments that information could be encoded in these waves and transmitted similarly to how we use electromagnetic waves with radio signals.
This opened the door for potential space communication to future human colonies but also opened the door to how advanced civilizations may be communicating with one another if they exist.
An interesting take on why we may not have heard anything back from potential neighbors is because the math-based problems we have been sending as an introduction aren’t received how we think.
Regardless of the fact that the laws of physics on an alien world would be very similar, there is no guarantee they think in the same way as us.
Given this, some feel that it would be smarter to simply send a book filled with the languages of Earth. Assuming an alien race is intelligent enough and has a form of artificial intelligence, they could decode our language to something they would understand.
Truthfully, we have no concept of what an alien civilization could look like. Our laws of nature and what is seemingly “normal” will most likely be thrown out the window the minute we make the first contact.
Granted, the universe is a huge place and, while sending messages for decades sounds like a lot, it’s possible our signals just haven’t reached anyone listening yet.
In my personal opinion, I believe that it is more likely an advanced civilization will stumble upon us by mistake long before we achieve the technological advancements necessary to communicate with them.
Something I have always wondered, however, is what if we have already been visited? Long before life developed, what if an alien civilization came to Earth but wrote it off as molten rock and has no idea we managed to evolve?
Regardless of the answer I’m certain that one day, humanity will come into contact with extraterrestrials. Let’s hope they don’t try to conquer us.