Scientists from the US have gathered evidence from infrared emissions that suggest that alien life might be flourishing in around 50 galaxies in the universe. These aliens, if they exist at all, would be drawing their energy from stars. The findings of the researchers – the Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies Survey (G-Hat) – have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Led by Dr Jason Wright from Penn State University in Pennsylvania, a team of scientists have suggested that 50 galaxies out there in the universe are releasing unusually high levels of radiation that could allegedly be indicating that advanced aliens are occupying those worlds. The galaxies in question were spotted from 100, 000 other galaxies because of the radiation.
The considerable amount of heat being emitted could be the result of the intelligent life forms harvesting power from stars.
‘The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonised by an advanced spacefaring civilisation, the energy produced by that civilisation’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths,’ said Dr Wright.
Dr Wright explained that “fundamental thermodynamics tells us that this energy must be radiated away as heat in the mid-infrared wavelengths”. This would hence make of them observable by the Wise telescope of NASA, the one used in the study.
Dr Wright has also cautioned that their results do not absolutely mean that alien life does exist without any doubt. Rather, the radiation might only be the consequence of some natural happening. For instance, dust and star formation is also characterised by such levels of energy.
“Our follow-up studies of those galaxies may reveal if the origin of their radiation results from natural astronomical processes, or if it could indicate the presence of a highly advanced civilization,” said Dr Wright.
He affirmed that none of the 100 000 galaxies – not even the 50 ‘special’ ones – were seen “with more than 85 per cent of their light being used by alien industry”.
Also, other galaxies might be holding life in their midst, but at the same time, they might be giving out less energy than has been detected.
“The harder we look and the longer we work, the better our detection limit will be, and the less energy a galaxy-spanning civilization would need to use for us to discover it,” he added.
Since the results are not conclusive, Dr Wright and his team are optimistic that more research might ultimately show that we are not alone.