A new solution to the Fermi Paradox holds that aliens would only be interested in contacting the most technologically advanced planets.
Where are the aliens? Why haven’t they contacted us? A scientific article proposes a new solution to these questions known as the Fermi Paradox.
The astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of the article, Amri Wandel, concludes that the answer could be that the Earth and its inhabitants may not live up to the expectations of a supposed advanced extraterrestrial civilization. According to his analysis, posted on the arXiv pre-release server, if it turns out that life has evolved on many planets in our galaxy, advanced aliens might be more interested in those with more advanced technology.
One question, many answers
Until now, experts had found other answers to the famous Fermi Paradox. Some argued that Earth may have already been visited by extraterrestrials in the past, before humans evolved or were able to record the visit. Or maybe long-distance space travel is more difficult than we think and aliens also don’t have more advanced technology than Earth. Some theories also suggest that the aliens may have self-destructed.
In the new paper, Wandel offers another possible explanation: that life is extraordinarily common in the Milky Way. And if it turns out that many of the rocky planets and habitable zones in the galaxy do have life, it’s more than likely that the aliens don’t want to waste their resources sending signals to all of them, and that, to avoid the risk of trying to communicate with algae or microorganisms, decide to focus only on worlds that show signs of advanced technology.
Maybe the message is still on the way
Also, technological signals can be difficult to detect. Earth began emitting detectable signals from space in the form of radio waves as early as the 1930s. These signals could have reached as many as 15,000 stars, a fraction of all the stars in the Milky Way. Furthermore, according to Wandel, any return messages from the aliens would take so long to arrive that we could only have received responses from stars less than 50 light-years away since Earth began broadcasting into deep space. It wasn’t until 1974 that we sent the first deliberate high-power transmission to extraterrestrials with the Arecibo message directed at the globular star cluster M13.
Therefore, the article does not rule out that extraterrestrial civilizations exist somewhere in the universe, it only rules out that they exist within a range of 50 light years from us. Your response may be on the way and we may not have received it yet.