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There could be 36 communicating intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, study says

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There could be 36 communicating intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, study says

Maybe we’re not.

Scientists have calculated that there could be a minimum of 36 active, communicating intelligent civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy, according to a new study. However, due to time and distance, we may never actually know if they exist or ever existed.

Previous calculations along these lines have been based on the Drake equation, which was written by astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake in 1961.

“Drake developed an equation which in principle can be used to calculate how many Communicating Extra-Terrestrial Intelligent (CETI) civilizations there may be in the Galaxy,” the authors wrote in their study. “However, many of its terms are unknowable and other methods must be used to calculate the likely number of communicating civilizations.”

So scientists at the University of Nottingham developed their own approach.

“The key difference between our calculation and previous ones based on the Drake equation is that we make very simple assumptions about how life developed,” said study coauthor Christopher Conselice, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Nottingham, in an email to CNN.

“One of them is that life forms in a scientific way — that is if the right conditions are met then life will form. This avoids impossible to answer questions such as ‘what fraction of planets in a habitable zone of a star will form life?’ and ‘what fraction of life will evolve into intelligent life?’ as these are not answerable until we actually detect life, which we have not yet done.”

Astronomers witness the steadfast beating heart of a black hole

They developed what they call the Astrobiological Copernican Principle to establish weak and strong limits on life in the galaxy. These equations include the history of star formation in our galaxy and the ages of stars, the metal content of the stars and the likelihood of stars hosting Earth-like planets in their habitable zones where life could form.

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The habitable zone is the right distance from a star, not too hot or too cold, where liquid water and life as we know it may be possible on the surface of a planet.

Of these factors, habitable zones are critical, but orbiting a quiet, stable star for billions of years may be the most critical, Conselice said.

Astronomers are changing the way we think of 'potentially habitable' planets

“The two Astrobiological Copernican limits are that intelligent life forms in less than 5 billion years, or after about 5 billion years — similar to on Earth where a communicating civilization formed after 4.5 billion years,” said coauthor Tom Westby, an assistant professor in the University of Nottingham’s faculty of engineering, in a statement.

The Astrobiological Copernican Strong limit is that life must form between 4.5 to 5.5 billion years, as on Earth, while the weak limit is that a planet takes at least 4 billion years to form life, but it can form anytime after that, the researchers said.

“It is called the Astrobiological Copernican Principle because it makes the assumption that our existence is not special,” Conselice said. “That is, if the conditions in which intelligent life on Earth also developed somewhere else in the Galaxy then intelligent life would develop there in a similar way.”

Based on their calculations using the Astrobiological Copernican Strong limit, they determined that there are likely 36 active and communicating intelligent civilizations across our galaxy. This assumes that life forms the way it does on Earth — which is our only understanding of it at the moment. It also assumes that the metal content of the stars hosting these planets are equal to that of our sun, which is rich in metals, Westby said.

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The researchers believed the strong limit is the most likely because “it still allows intelligent life to form within a billion years after it did on Earth, which seems like plenty of time,” Conselice said.

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Another assumption of these potential civilizations is that they’re making their presence known in some way via signals.

Astronomers may have found an Earth-like exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star

Currently, we’ve only been producing signals like radio transmissions from satellites and televisions for a short time. Our “technological” civilization is about a hundred years old. So imagine about 36 others doing the same thing across the galaxy.

The researchers were surprised that the number was so small — but not zero. “That is fairly remarkable,” Conselice said.

Even though this study only looked at our galaxy, distance is an inhibiting factor. The researchers calculated that the average distance between these potential civilizations would equal about 17,000 light-years. Detecting those signals or sending communications using current technology would take so long that it would be nearly impossible.

Astronomers find the Wolfe Disk, an unlikely galaxy, in the distant universe

“The search for intelligent life is only expected to yield a positive observation if the average life-span of [communicating extra-terrestrial intelligence] within our Galaxy is 3,060 years. That is to say, our communicating civilization here on Earth will need to persist for 6,120 years beyond the advent of long-range radio technology (approximately 100 years ago) before we can expect a [search for extra-terrestrial intelligence] two-way communication.”

Under the more relaxed assumptions of the Weak Copernican case, there would be a minimum of 928 civilizations communicating in our galaxy today, according to the study, meaning more of them at closer range. This would only require about 700 years to make a detection.

Life span of a civilization

“It is clear that the lifetime of a communicating civilization is the key aspect within this problem, and very long lifetimes are needed for those within the Galaxy to contain even a few possible active contemporary civilizations,” the researchers wrote in their study.

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And then there’s the question of survival. Are other potential civilizations as long-lived as those on Earth?

The 'beating hearts' of these pulsating stars create music to astronomers' ears

If the search for this life reveals nothing within a distance of 7,000 light-years, the researchers suggest that this could mean one of two things.

First, it could suggest that the lifetimes of these civilizations are shorter than 2,000 years — which could mean that our own is nearing its end.

Second, it could suggest that life on Earth is unique and occurs in a much more random process than the Astrobiological Copernican Limits established in the study.

The Milky Way may be kicking stars into its outer halo

Not all factors or limitations were included in the study, like the fact that the small M-dwarf stars these Earth-like planets may be orbiting may release harmful radiation “that would make life difficult to exist,” which is a debated issue, Conselice said. M-dwarf stars are common in our galaxy and have been known to host rocky, Earth-size planets.

Next, the researchers will look beyond our galaxy to see if life may exist outside of its boundaries.

“Our new research suggests that searches for extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations not only reveals the existence of how life forms, but also gives us clues for how long our own civilization will last,” Conselice said.

“If we find that intelligent life is common then this would reveal that our civilization could exist for much longer than a few hundred years, alternatively if we find that there are no active civilizations in our Galaxy it is a bad sign for our own long-term existence. By searching for extraterrestrial intelligent life — even if we find nothing — we are discovering our own future and fate.”

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal – Observer

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Thiago Monteiro in 14th and 15th before the arrival of the WTCR in Portugal - Observer

Portuguese driver Thiago Monteiro (Honda) finished 14th and 15th this Sunday in the two World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) races held in Aragon, Spain, which precede the Vila Real race.

The Portuguese rider always rode in the tail, he was hindered by the fact that Honda had more excess weight than his rivals.

“If they told me that I would be in this position, I would not believe it. But the reality is that we have not been able to withstand a number of adversities. From the moment when the pace is much lower than other rivals, we are prepared in advance. It’s heartbreaking,” the Portuguese rider began his explanation after the fourth round of the championship.

The Portuguese rider struggled to find the best balance in his Civic, as did his teammate, Hungarian Attila Tassi.

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“We still had problems, and we could not reach the full potential of the car. It was very difficult, unpleasant and discouraging, especially since we are going to Vila Real and this scenario does not suit me. But we will have to continue to look for our own path and believe that everything will work out, ”Thiago Monteiro concluded.

Belgian Giles Magnus (Audi) and Spaniard Mikel Ascona (Hyundai) won both races on Sunday.

Ascona leads the league with 129 points, while Thiago Monteiro is 16th with 12 points.

The WTCR competition in Portugal will take place next weekend in Vila Real.

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

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Joao Almeida became the champion of Portugal in cycling

This Sunday, Portuguese cyclist João Almeida (UAE-Emirates) became the Portuguese champion in cross-country cycling for the first time, winning the elite national championships held in Mogaduro.

In his first online race since Joao Almeida was forced to pull out of the Vuelta Italia after testing positive for the coronavirus, he won his first national title since becoming time trial champion in 2021.

Almeida crossed the finish line in Mogadora, covering the 167.5 km distance in 4:08.42 hours, 52 seconds behind Thiago Antunes (Efapel) second, Fabio Costa (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) third, and Rui Oliveira (UAE). – Emirates), fourth.

In the end, João Almeida stated that he was “very pleased” with the victory, admitting that the race “went very well” and thanking his teammates.

Former national champion José Neves (W52-FC Porto) did not finish the race, as did Rafael Reis (Glassdrive-Q8-Anicolor) who won the time trial title on Friday.

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Portuguese military admits ‘it will take time’ until territory is taken under control

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Portuguese military admits 'it will take time' until territory is taken under control

The “path” chosen for about a year in the fight against rebel groups in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique is “the right one,” Brigadier General Nuno Lemos Pires said in an interview with Lusa.

“Now, while the situation is not fully under control, we all understand that, as in any other counter-terrorism situation in the world, it will take a lot of time,” added the head of the European military training mission, although he acknowledged that this “ does not mean that sometimes there are no fears and failures.

However, “this is part of what constitutes an action taken against terrorists who operate in a very wide area, who in themselves have the initiative and the ability to hide in a very wide area,” he said.

In fact, he stressed, many of the recent attacks that have taken place in the south of Cabo Delgado in recent weeks are due to the fact that Islamist extremist rebels had to “flight from the north” of the province.

“Because this was a consolidated military operation carried out in close cooperation between the Mozambique Defense and Security Forces (FSS), [e com as forças d]Rwanda and SAMIM (Southern African Development Community Mission (SADC) in Mozambique), who were clearing out the intervention areas that existed in the area, the reaction of many terrorists was to flee the area, go further south, where they were not pursued. , and make new attacks,” he explained.

“In such cases, the initiative almost always belongs to the terrorists. There are few of them, they hide among the population, they move over very large territories, with a lot of dense vegetation, it becomes very difficult to find them, but you can easily move,” he continued.

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On the other hand, the Portuguese general emphasized, “it is now difficult for these groups” “to concentrate power and forces for large-scale operations, as was the case three years ago during the conquests, such as Mocimboa da Praia or Palma.” ,” he said.

“They don’t have that ability. Many of these attacks even demonstrate [estratégias] survival [clássicas das guerrilhas]. They’re looking for food, they’re looking for supplies, they’re searching deep down for a place where they can survive, because the area is already under quite a lot of control. [por parte] Mozambique FSS, Rwandan forces and SAMIM,” he explained.

In this context, Nuno Lemos Pires highlighted the “quick response” of the Mozambican authorities to each of these developments, starting with head of state Filipe Nyusi.

“I think it is exemplary that the moment there is a movement or a series of significant attacks in other areas, we immediately see the President of Mozambique heading north, linking up with his Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (CEMGFA). , with the Minister of Defense, with the Minister of the Interior, and outline plans on the ground for a quick change of equipment and the ability to respond to such movements,” he said.

During one such trip to northern Mozambique in mid-June, Mozambican Interior Minister Arsenia Massingue said that Mozambican police were informing the “enemy” – the rebel forces in Cabo Delgado – about the positions of the FDS and allied forces on the ground.

However, Lemos Pires downplayed the situation. “We must be aware that there are infiltrations in any political system. It’s happening everywhere. Ignoring this dimension is tantamount to ignoring what is happening everywhere,” he said.

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“I don’t know of a single case of insurgency, counterinsurgency, terrorist or counter-terrorist combat where these leaks didn’t happen frequently. You need to be careful. .

In addition to the vastness of the territory that has been the scene of conflict and the topography favorable to insurgent guerrilla strategies, the porous borders with Tanzania to the north of Cabo Delgado and Malawi to the northwest also pose a danger. challenges the SDF and allied forces of SAMIM and Rwanda.

Lemos Pires also relativized this question. “We are talking about transnational terrorism, and it is good to understand that the situation in the north of Mozambique, in Cabo Delgado, is not limited and is not limited – and has never been limited – exclusively and exclusively to this region. A phenomenon that exists throughout Africa. , namely in Central Africa,” he said.

The UETM commander even took advantage of this circumstance to formulate an “extended response” to “a broad problem, a regional one, and the solution must also be a broad regional one.”

Therefore, “it’s very good what we see here on the ground, in fact, this is the unification of the efforts of regional African forces to try to deal with a problem that really worries everyone,” he concluded.

“What happens in one region can affect another. That is why it is in everyone’s interest that these groups be fought, detained and that the narrative that they are currently spreading can be counteracted – we hope that there are fewer and fewer successes,” the Portuguese general stressed.

NPS // PYAA

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