Do you believe in aliens? About 54% of Americans certainly do, as many think the aliens have been down here to visit us. There have been nearly 200 reports of UFOs, but they’re exactly as defined as unidentified flying objects. So we don’t know what they are doesn’t automatically mean they belong to ET. The hard evidence is for aliens on Earth or out in the cosmos.
According to Britain’s first astronaut Helen Sharman, billions of stars exist. It means there must be all different forms of life. In the 60s, astronomer Frank Drake turbocharged the modern search for extraterrestrial life. He devised the Drake equation, which predicted millions of civilizations among the stars.
In the 70s, scientists sent radio signals from Earth into space. They started as simple beats and became more complex, like info about DNA. Another theory is that the aliens don’t live long enough or develop enough to touch us.
6 surprising evidence of alien existence (Extraterrestrial)
When people talk about “aliens,” they mean living things that make their homes on a planet other than Earth. In the vacuum of a space simulator, life forms have been flourishing for years without oxygen. There are more habitable Earth-mass planets in the observable volume of the universe than grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth.
The discovery of one bacteria on Mars would indicate that the whole chain of cosmic, chemical, and biological evolutions is at work everywhere. In that case, creating life anywhere in the universe would be more of a rule than an exception.
Whether extraterrestrial life exists is one of science’s most intriguing and debated topics. While there is no conclusive evidence to prove the existence of aliens definitively, there have been various intriguing observations and discoveries that some consider potential evidence. Here are a few examples:
Fermi Paradox: The Fermi Paradox raises why, given the vast number of stars and potentially habitable planets in the universe, we have not yet encountered any alien civilizations. This paradox suggests there may be a lack of observable evidence simply because advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are rare or difficult to detect.
UFO Sightings: Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) have been reported by people around the world. While most UFO sightings can be explained as misidentifications of conventional objects or phenomena, some cases remain unexplained. However, it is important to note that “unexplained” does not necessarily mean “extraterrestrial” but rather that no conclusive evidence or explanation is available at the time.
Extraterrestrial Microbes: In 1996, NASA scientists discovered possible fossilized microbial life in a Martian meteorite called ALH84001. This finding generated considerable excitement but remains controversial and subject to ongoing scientific investigation.
SETI and Radio Signals: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is an ongoing scientific effort to detect intelligent signals from space. While SETI has not yet found any conclusive evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence, numerous radio signals have been detected that have not yet been explained, known as “unexplained radio signals” or “fast radio bursts.”
Exoplanets: The discovery of exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) has expanded our understanding of the potential prevalence of habitable environments in the universe. Identifying exoplanets within their star’s habitable zone, where conditions could support liquid water and potentially life as we know it, increases the chances of finding extraterrestrial life in the future. However, direct evidence of life on these exoplanets is still lacking.
In 1959, Nature published a paper that found satellite dishes, basically electromagnetic wave antennas. They had become sensitive enough to pick up alien communications if pointed in the right place. Let’s find the proof of the alien’s existence.
1. Crop circles
Most common in the UK, they appear overnight in fields of wheat and barley. The stalks aren’t cut, but they are laid flat over large areas to create beautiful and complicated geometric patterns when you look down from above.
What could cause such magnificently mysterious shapes to suddenly and miraculously appear? It must be aliens! If it is, then they’ve only been visiting since the 1970s. They have a distinct preference for crop fields easily accessible by Road. Yet, despite the vast earth’s surface available to them, they keep choosing to come back to the UK.
They could have been made by people sneaking out in the middle of the night to fool us all. In 1991 two men from Winchester confessed to having created many of the British crop circles. That has been documented over the years. But they haven’t laid claim to all of them. So there is still a chance that aliens are involved. However, the lack of other accompanying evidence of extraterrestrials makes it much more likely that they’re all the product of copy hoaxers.
Relatively simple natural or known phenomena can explain these supposedly mysterious alien structures. If they’re not hoaxes, they could be innovations in aerospace engineering or a normal flying machine seen at a weird angle. These options are more probable than invoking an entirely new extraterrestrial civilization.
So far, it’s not looking good for the committed Alien Hunter, but all is not lost. Some phenomena have evaded rational explanations and could be evidence of alien life in the cosmos.
2. Big ear telescope
In 1977, the aptly named Big Ear telescope in Ohio was used to listen to radio signals from the stars. This careful listening has been the basis of SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence), based on the theory that an advanced alien civilization would like us to be intentionally or accidentally beaming radio signals out into space. Some of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes have been used in the search since 1960. But on the whole, they had turned up nothing except at Big Ear in 1977.
On August 15th, the telescope picked up an intense flash of radio energy in the frequency astronomers would expect from an intelligent source. It seemed to come from the constellation of Sagittarius and registered on the paper readout to be over 30 times the background noise. Astronomer Jerry Ehman circled it and wrote “Wow” in the margin. It’s now known among the SETI community as the WoW signal.
Even 40 years on, we still don’t know what caused it. The problem is that the radio show hasn’t been heard since, despite astronomers searching over 50 times. Without the chance to make repeat observations, there’s no way to say if the WoW signal was the first radio broadcast from an alien race or simply a product of natural cosmic processes.
Airman’s Wow signal is the only space mystery that could be explained by ET, though. In 2015, citizen science exoplanet hunters spotted a star with unusual brightness fluctuations. The orbiting of planets did not easily explain that.
3. Tabby’s star
Boyajian’s Star, previously referred to as Tabby’s Star, is named after the astrophysicist who first studied its inexplicable behavior. It’s a bit larger than the sun and is about 1300 light-years away. It’s the most unusual dimming of a star ever observed. The dimming is much too substantial to be caused by an orbiting planet. Even planets as giant as the biggest ones in the solar system would only make a tiny blip in the brightness of Boyajian’s star.
As affectionately known, Tabby’s star is occasionally dimmed by up to 22 percent of its normal brightness, presumably by something passing in front and obscuring part of it. But scientists aren’t sure exactly what that something is; some suggest comet fragments. So many would unlikely be around to block 22 percent of the light.
4. Dyson swarm
Another option is a Dyson swarm which is sadly not a fleet of sentient vacuum cleaners. Instead, it’s a theoretical alien megastructure designed to capture as much of a star’s energy as possible. Placing a solar panel network around a star in three dimensions would intersect its radiation in all directions. Thus, it provides almost limitless energy for the extraterrestrials and blocks the light from outside observers like us.
The lip from weird star flickers to highly advanced alien civilizations is big. Scientists are understandably skeptical, but the ET Theory has to stay on the table until an alternative explanation can be found. Unfortunately, that’s the best we can do for extraterrestrial evidence. It remains to be seen whether it is amongst all those hoaxes and out there when it does come along.
5. Drake equation
The Drake Equation breaks down the Milky Way into numbers to estimate how many communicating alien civilizations might be out there. The Drake Equation considers the following factors:
- The average rate of star formation.
- The fraction of those stars with planets.
- The average number of potentially habitable planets around those stars.
- The fraction of those planets which can support life.
- The fraction that does develop life.
- A fraction of those with life evolved to be intelligent and civilized.
- The fraction of civilized, intelligent life that has developed communications.
- Finally, the length of time.
It takes those intelligent aliens to transmit a signal into space. It was all designed to estimate the number of developed, intelligent, communicative civilizations waiting for us to find. But obviously, there are some problems with this formula.
It throws many unknowns into an equation that can give a huge range of probabilities. Even Drake didn’t intend for this equation to be a definitive answer as to whether or not aliens with radio dishes are out there. Instead, it’s supposed to help us start the conversation about the number of planets that could have life.
Interestingly as time goes on and advances in astronomy come in thick and fast, we’re gradually refining our estimates of how many exoplanets are out there in the galaxy.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope is even finding worlds orbiting within their star’s “habitable zones” that are possibly cozy places for life to evolve. The upshot is that the more actual data we can throw into this equation, the more compelling it becomes. But there are other factors that the Drake Equation doesn’t consider, one of them being:
- How do non-living chemicals become living, breathing creatures that eventually evolve to build radio transmitters?
6. Scharf-Cronin equation
Another equation uses planetary chemistry to calculate the odds that life could form on a planet! It’s almost like this new Scharf-Cronin equation is one of the missing puzzle pieces from the Drake equation!
The Scharf-Cronin uses the total number of building blocks on a given planet. It multiplies it by the fraction of building blocks needed per “organism” multiplied by the availability of those building blocks when they exist. Then, the probability of assembling those blocks in a given time multiplies that by time overall.
From that, it can determine a rough estimate of the odds that an origin-of-life event would happen on a planet! Turning non-living chemicals into functioning biology is called “abiogenesis.” This new equation provides new microscopic areas to study beyond the Drake Equation.
Without the Drake and Scharf-Cronin equations, we wouldn’t have a model to start within, finding out how many planets might have life. This is the bleeding edge of science in some ways. Mathematically speaking, it probably does, maybe not Drake-level communicative life. Perhaps it’s microorganisms, or maybe plants!
In the end, the 1959 paper by Cocconi and Morrison put it best in its last line, “The probability of success is difficult to estimate, but if we never search, the chance of success is zero.”
Frank, Adam, “A new frontier is opening in the search for extraterrestrial life.”
Davies, Paul, “Are We Alone in the Universe?”.
Pickrell, John, “Top 10: Controversial pieces of evidence for extraterrestrial life”.
Overbye, Dennis, “As Ranks of Goldilocks Planets Grow, Astronomers Consider What’s Next.”
Domagal-Goldman, Shawn, “Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity?
Weaver, Rheyanne, “Ruminations on other worlds.”
De Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko, “Winston Churchill Wrote of Alien Life in a Lost Essay.”
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