Are we alone? Over time, this question has been framed in different ways. Is life here on Earth the only life in the universe? Are humans the only sentient intelligence in the vastness of space and time?
A better, more precise framing of the question would be this: Throughout the expanse of space and over the lifetime of the universe, are there now or have there ever been other sentient civilizations that, like ours, explored the stars and left evidence of their efforts?
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Our sun is not an ordinary star. Most stars live hundreds of times longer, and also formed billions of years before the appearance of the star of our system.
According to the theory proposed by scientists, a huge number of sun-shaped stars with similar content of heavy elements were formed long before the appearance of the Sun. We can observe the decay products of such stars.
Therefore, it is difficult to imagine that humanity was the first developed civilization that originated in space. According to rough estimates, the first intelligent civilization could have appeared more than 10 billion years ago.
“Over the past 10 billion years, representatives of an intelligent civilization may have visited the outskirts of our galaxy many times. To determine them, you need to follow the sky and look for unfamiliar objects near your home planet,” – said one of the co-authors of the study.
“This is precisely the meaning of the recently announced Galileo project.”
The goal of the project is to find the nature of anomalous interstellar objects near the Earth.