Alien Life Exists? New Theory Suggests Advanced Extraterrestrial Civilizations Inhabited Space Before Going Extinct

Several science fiction films hinted the possibility of alien life existence. But those theories might become a reality as a recent study claimed that alien life once existed across the universe. Unfortunately, those advanced extraterrestrial communities had gone extinct.

Alien Life Exists

In the study published in the journal Astrobiology, University of Rochester and University of Washington researchers revealed the infinitesimal probability that there had never been any alien life in space. By using the Drake equation, they also found that there's a slim chance that humanity will ever come across some extraterrestrial beings since space is abysmal, according to The Sun.

"One in 10 billion trillion is incredibly small," University of Rochester and astronomy and physics professor and study coauthor Adam Frank said, as per Science Alert. "To me, this implies that other intelligent, technology producing species very likely have evolved before us."

The astronomers also tried to determine the average lifespan of alien civilizations. But with the universe's more than 13-billion-year lifespan, they concluded that any other extraterrestrial societies have probably gone extinct.

Kepler's Exoplanet Data

By using the exoplanet data from NASA's Kepler satellite and other searches, researchers have discovered that about one-fifth of stars have "habitable" planets, where temperatures could support life. However, there were still huge uncertainties in calculating the probability for the advanced alien life to evolve on those habitable planets, Science Daily notes.

"One in 10 billion trillion is incredibly small," Frank said. "To me, this implies that other intelligent, technology producing species very likely have evolved before us."

Revised Drake Equation

In the study, Frank and his coauthor Woodruff Sullivan of the astronomy department and astrobiology program at the University of Washington used the Drake equation to estimate the number of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe. But what exactly is Drake equation?

Drake equation was developed by astrophysicist Frank Drake in 1961 to estimate the existence of technological civilizations across the Milky Way galaxy. The Drake equation combines three astronomy and three biological terms, CBS News learns.

For the astronomical terms, these include star formation frequency, the ratio of those stars that host planets and the number of habitable planets. The "biological" terms, on the other hand, include the fraction of habitable planets, the ratio that might have developed intelligent life and the number of civilizations present in space.

A seventh term is also included in Drake equation that indicates how long civilizations might maintain the technology needed to make their presence known. But with Kepler's exoplanet data, Frank and Sullivan decided to revise the 1961 Drake equation.

Researchers removed the time element in the original equation and then combined the three astronomy terms into one known factor while the three biology terms became a single unknown. The revised equation becomes A = Nf.

In the equation, A refers to the number of the advanced technological civilizations, N is the known astronomical data and f represents the unknown biological elements. Since A is equal to 1 (humans on Earth) and plugging in the known values for N, Frank and Sullivan simply solved for the unknown, f.

'Gaian Bottleneck' Hypothesis And Earth Extinction

Meanwhile, the extinction of alien life was also explained through the "Gaian Bottleneck" hypothesis in a new research published in the journal Astrobiology earlier this year. Astrobiologists from The Australian National University revealed climate change as the reason why extraterrestrial life ceased to exist, noting the instability of young habitable planets to turn either a hellish hothouse or frozen wasteland easily made the once life-giving oasis unconducive to sustain life.

The findings also suggested that another existential threat still looms. Unless humans found a way to reverse the damages they caused to the environment, there's a possibility that life on Earth may also rapidly go extinct, Latin Post reports.

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