Washington: If alien life really exists, they would have found humans by now, but consciously avoiding us for unknown reasons, a new study has suggested.
Researchers, who calculated the time a society would take to muster up the resources and know-how to travel to another world, found that alien civilisations starting from the oldest stars in the galaxy would have had more than enough time to reach Earth.
"We are either alone, or they are out there and leave us alone," lead study author Thomas Hair, a mathematician with Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, was quoted as saying by Discovery News.
Light travels at about 186,000 miles per second. Figure another 500 years to build new ships, set out again, and so on and so on, and the calculations show that civilisations starting out from the oldest stars in our galaxy would have had epochs of time to reach us by now. So where are they? "They've either passed us by, or they stay around their home star systems and contemplate their
navels," Hair said.
There could be several reasons why we are not listed in intergalactic Yelp. Perhaps most important is that we don't have anything aliens need.
"Any ancient civilisation is probably not biological. They don't need a place like Earth. They don't need to come here and steal our water. There's plenty of it out in the outer solar system where the gravity is not so great and they
can just take all they want," Hair said.
Or perhaps modern-day extraterrestrials are following routes laid out long ago, all of which bypass Earth, he added. Hair presented his research at the Mathematical Association of America in Boston recently.