A new study showed that an intelligent life certainly existed a long time ago somewhere in space far, far away from Earth.
Researchers Adam Frank and Woodruff Sullivan, authors of a study published in the journal Astrobiology, revised the famous “Drake Equation” created and formulated in 1961 by Frank Drake. The equation has been one of the most controversial ones in the universe since it aims to answer the question: “Does intelligent life currently exist in the universe?”
But Sullivan and Frank looked at the problem in a slightly different manner by asking, “Has intelligent life ever existed on a distant planet?”
This slight revision allowed them to come up with a new equation and they used the data obtained by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft and other space instruments that display “roughly one-fifth of stars have planets in ‘habitable zones’, where temperatures could support life as we know it”. Drake lacks this advancement back on his time which only limited his formulation.
With the new equation, the team was able to make an estimation on one in 10 billion or trillions chance that humans could be the sole intelligent species that ever existed in this universe.
“One in 10 billion trillions is incredibly small,” Frank said.
“To me, this implies that other intelligent, technology-producing species very likely have evolved before us.”
“Before our result, you’d be considered a pessimist if you imagined the probability of evolving a civilization on a habitable planet was, say, one in a trillion. But even that guess, one chance in a trillion, implies that what has happened here on Earth with humanity has in fact happened about 10 billion other times over cosmic history,” he added.
Another study published in the journal Nature Geoscience confirmed three Earth-like planets orbiting a star very near to ours (only 40 light-years away). Authors believed that planets have favorable conditions for existence and development of life.
Source: News Week