Artist impression of planets around the distant star KOI-872.
Credit: Courtesy Southwest Research Institute

Intelligent Alien Civilizations Rarer than One in a Million

Source: University of California Berkeley
Posted: 02/10/13

Summary: Scientists have used a telescope to search for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of the stars that NASA’s Kepler mission has identified as potential planet hosts.

NASA’s Kepler mission has identified 2,740 planets orbiting other stars, but do any of them harbor intelligent life?

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have now used the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look for intelligent radio signals from planets around 86 of these stars. While discovering no telltale signs of life, the researchers calculate that fewer than one in a million stars in the Milky Way Galaxy have planetary civilizations advanced enough to transmit beacons we could detect.

“We didn’t find ET, but we were able to use this statistical sample to, for the first time, put rather explicit limits on the presence of intelligent civilizations transmitting in the radio band where we searched,” said Andrew Siemion, who recently received his Ph.D. in astronomy from UC Berkeley.

Even with such odds, there could be millions of advanced civilizations in the galaxy.

Read more: Intelligent Alien Civilizations Rarer than One in a Million — Astrobiology Magazine.

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