For thousands of years, man has looked to the heavens for answers–searching for the meaning of life and trying to understand the wrath of the gods. In more recent years, we’ve started to wonder whether we’re really all alone. The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (known as SETI) has been ongoing for more than fifty years now, and still, there’s no word from the surrounding darkness. Although, there have been dozens of reported sightings of UFOs and even the occasional abduction.
This infographic shares some diverse and fascinating philosophies as to why we haven’t run into any of our closest neighbors yet. Scientists in search of extraterrestrial life have to keep an open mind or they may miss the obvious. There are hundreds of billions of stars in the universe and in the last ten years we’ve discovered a new planet every day, a total of 3650 planets over the period. The sheer number makes it even more surprising that we’ve failed to find life.
According to the latest calculations published in The Astrophysical Journal, the Milky Way should contain around 36 alien civilizations. These calculations assume that life forms anywhere in the universe will require conditions somewhat like our own. Still, scientists have estimated that our nearest neighbors are located around 17,000 light-years away, so even if we could contact them, we wouldn’t get an answer in our lifetime.