Aliens won't exist by the time we hear from them, scientists say

  • 15/04/2018
A depiction of an alien from the film Alien: Covenant.
A depiction of an alien from the film Alien: Covenant. Photo credit: File

If you're one to hope humans could one day interact with aliens, then research from a group of French scientists may leave you a little disappointed. 

A team under the leadership of French astronomer Claudio Grimaldi recently published a paper which explores the idea that any extraterrestrial civilisation we discover is likely to be dead. 

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The writers look at a scenario in which extraterrestrial societies broadcast messages into space that reach more and more star systems as time goes on. 

It then mathematically explains that aliens would have likely died out by the time their messages would have reached us, situated millions of light years away. 

However US astronomer Seth Shostak has challenged that argument; suggesting most star systems examined by scientists studying extraterrestrial intelligence are in fact less than a few hundred light years away. 

"So a signal from one of these wouldn't be a million years old," Mr shostak said in NBC. 

"And since a few centuries isn't really much time, I usually offer an analogy: it takes the postal service three days to deliver a letter from my aunt. But it's unlikely that she died in the interim because three days is brief in comparison to the average lifetime of aunts."

The astronomer said if your average alien society lasts more than 100,000 years then its signals have the ability to cover the entire galaxy while aliens are still in existence.