There could be more than 30 alien civilisations in our galaxy, researchers have found in a major study.
A new paper looked to understand how many planets in our neighbourhood could be home to alien life, by assuming that life develops on other planets in a similar way to how it develops on Earth, and matching that to planets that could be home to similar evolution.
It found that there could be dozens of active civilisations waiting to be found in our Milky Way. But it could also shed light on our own fate, and suggest our prospects for long-term survival are lower than we may have thought.
“There should be at least a few dozen active civilizations in our Galaxy under the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as on Earth,” Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham said in a statement.
“The idea is looking at evolution, but on a cosmic scale. We call this calculation the Astrobiological Copernican Limit.”