In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
Alien supercivilizations absent from 100,000 nearby galaxies. The most far-seeing search ever performed for “Dyson spheres” and other artifacts of “astroengineering” comes up empty.
In a press conference last week two senior NASA officials—Ellen Stofan, the agency’s chief scientist, and John Grunsfeld, the former astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s science programs—predicted that astrobiologists would at last find their elusive alien subjects within only a decade or two.
But new results suggest our human "loneliness" may extend out into the universe far beyond our galaxy or, instead, that some of our preconceptions about the behaviors of alien civilizations are deeply flawed.
After examining some 100,000 nearby large galaxies a team of researchers lead by The Pennsylvania State University astronomer Jason Wright has concluded that none of them contain any obvious signs of highly advanced technological civilizations.
Published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, it is by far the largest of study of its kind to date—earlier research had only cursorily investigated about a hundred galaxies.