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Astronomer says he knows why aliens haven't contacted us yet

Astronomer says he knows why aliens haven't contacted us yet


A New York astronomer thinks gamma-ray bursts could be to blame for our inability to find aliens. The most powerful form of energy blast in the universe has the power to erase planets. Gamma-ray bursts were not discovered until the 1960s.

Many people, even scientists, simply want to believe in advanced extraterrestrial life. To cover the disappointment of not finding any, new theories continue to arise as to why we haven't become better friends with aliens. The latest comes from Frederick Walter, professor of astronomy at Stony Brook University in New York. It presents the idea that the universe has skipped the aliens.

In a theory that Walter shared with the Daily Mail, he claims that gamma-ray bursts, a space flare full of radiation that delivers the most energetic form of light in the universe, which can be a million billion times brighter than the sun, could have eliminated possible extraterrestrial life forms.

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It's a tightly focused beam, he tells, and, if aimed across the plane of the galaxy, it could sterilize about 10% of the galaxy's planets. This is just one of many possible explanations.

While admitting that it falls into the category of morbid explanations, the sheer power of a gamma-ray burst has the destructive capacity to eliminate anything in its path.

The gamma-ray burst was not discovered until the 1960s, when a satellite intended to search for nuclear activity from the Soviet Union detected this strong radioactive explosion. It was later determined that the explosion was of cosmic origin and the study of gamma-ray bursts began. NASA really began to study this phenomenon in depth in 1991.

We don't have much history with gamma-ray bursts in the Milky Way, but that doesn't mean the explosions don't occur throughout the universe. NASA research into the cosmic explosion found that the events occurred more frequently when old stars collapsed into black holes or when a new galaxy formed and was full of energy.

There is estimated to be a gamma-ray burst every 100 million years or so in any galaxy, Walter says, although NASA research says it could be as frequent as every 10,000 years. On average, over a billion years, one would expect a significant number of civilizations to be wiped out, if they exist.

As researchers debate massive changes in Earth's ancient history, the idea of ​​a gamma-ray burst helping to wipe out life on our planet is also sometimes raised. For a gamma burst to be effective in erasing anything, it must hit that object. These events, with short-term bursts considered less than 2 seconds and long-term bursts exceeding 2 seconds, emit a somewhat precise precision, similar to a headlight beam.

Yet anything in that powerful beam would completely vaporize, meaning that if a gamma-ray burst was aimed at a planet teeming with alien life, that extraterrestrial life would no longer teem.

At the same time, scientists say the risk posed by gamma-ray bursts to humans is minimal due to their very rare nature and propensity to travel away from the Milky Way.

Floating a gamma-ray burst as a theory for why aliens didn't come simply joins another long list of explanations, from aliens showing no desire to explore beyond their own world to destroying themselves in the process. And while people debate the most plausible reason why aliens haven't yet come knocking on Earth's door, one theory is often overlooked: Maybe super-intelligent alien life forms don't exist. . But if they had, a gamma-ray burst could have wiped them out.

Tim Newcomb is a journalist based in the Pacific Northwest. He covers stadiums, sneakers, equipment, infrastructure and more for various publications, including Popular Mechanics. His favorite interviews include interviews with Roger Federer in Switzerland, Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles and Tinker Hatfield in Portland.




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