A recent study has made a shocking claim - providing new evidence for what astronomer Frank Drake once famously predicted.
A recent study has offered new insight into the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe or not. According to a report from Discovery News, scientists have attempted to simplify the Drake equation in order to estimate the potential number of technologically advanced civilizations throughout the universe.
The Drake equation consists of a number of variables that could explain how to guess how many advanced civilizations there may be in the observable universe. The recent study takes new data into account after a series of exoplanet discoveries since the equation was first proposed in 1961 by astronomer Frank Drake.
The study makes a fascinating but sobering claim – that while intelligent life was likely plentiful throughout the universe, there’s a good chance that there are very few survivors. Lead author Adam Frank, a physics and astronomy professor from the University of Rochester in New York says that the research can help humans prolong the life of our own civilization and even communicate with any other beings that may be out there.
“The question of whether advanced civilizations exist elsewhere in the universe has always been vexed with three large uncertainties in the Drake equation,” said Frank. “We’ve known for a long time approximately how many starts exist. We didn’t know how many of those stars had planets that could potentially harbor life, how often life might evolve and lead to intelligent beings, and how long any civilizations might last before becoming extinct.”
Based on research largely carried out by the Kepler space telescope that scans the skies for habitable exoplanets, the scientists reconsidered key elements of the Drake equation such as how long a civilization could survive and how likely it is for life to evolve and reach an intelligent state.
“Our results imply that our evolution has not been unique and has probably happened many times before,” said Frank.
The study, published in the journal Astrobiology, can be found here.