The Universe is a limitless place that houses trillions of galaxies. And each galaxy is home to millions of stars and an incredible number of planets. This pushes mankind towards an obvious question, a question which remains the fundamental philosophical question ever asked, “are we alone?” Are we the only ones looking out and thinking, what is all this? Is this question just for us as humans, or do we get to share it with anyone out there in space? What are the odds of life existing somewhere else?
The answer to all these questions is still not clear. Scientists across the world are still trying to explore the possibilities. For now, we don’t have a good insight into how probable life is anywhere else in the Universe. Life could possibly be blooming at places in the Universe, but we don’t exactly know where. All we know is that it happened once on earth, but has the phenomenon repeated itself beyond this planet?
On earth, life exists almost everywhere! Even in the harshest of conditions, we see macro to microscopic level life is teeming up. If this is possible in earth’s most brutal climate, why not in any other place in space?
It is plausible that life could exist somewhere in our galaxy and beyond, but where is everybody? Enrico Fermi once came up with a hypothesis that an intelligent civilization could create a galactic empire in as little as 10 million years. Considering the Universe is approximately 13 billion years old, 10 million years seems to be speedy. This called for the Fermi paradox that if every star system with habitable planets could be colonized by now, why haven’t we received any signal from the distant void.
Earth has been sending radio waves into space for hundreds of years. This means aliens with advanced Telescope a hundred light-years away could have discovered us by now. But 100 light-years is a pretty small bubble considering the vast Universe. Maybe we aren’t getting any signals because the aliens aren’t close enough to us. Or they are avoiding communication with us. It is also proposed that aliens send us signs, but we aren’t smart enough to detect them.
Another possibility can be that civilizations don’t survive long enough to explore galactic space. If this is the case, then even if there’s an alien civilization, there’s no way we’ll ever know about them. Everything outside our local group (galactic group) is pretty much out of our reach forever because the Universe keeps on expanding. There’s also a theory that the Universe has excellent filters; a filter in this context represents a formidable barrier for life to overcome. Life may exist elsewhere in the Universe, but it gets destroyed when it reaches a certain point. There is no way for us to know, or maybe we are really alone.
Right now, we have no evidence that there’s any life besides us. The Universe seems to be empty and dead as no one’s sending us any signals, no one answering our messages. Aliens wouldn’t come to earth without any reason, whether it’s good or bad.
Fermi did ask one of the most critical questions humans have ever asked. He was also the pioneer in the creation of nuclear weapons. And this goes on par with the statement that the species that could inhabit the entire galaxy is also the same species that stands capable of almost wholly wiping itself out at a moment’s notice. We have sent out satellites such as the voyager crafts with specific instructions of who we are, what we are, and where we are. We are doing all we can to find alien life while also giving them all the information they need to find us. We have come far looking for an answer to whether we are alone in this eternal Universe, but we have a long way to go.