Are We Alone? For thousands of years, humans have gazed into the heavens, asking that primordial question: are we alone? For over 60 years, humans have been using microwave radio communications and other devices in the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, and in attempt to get intelligent aliens to reply. This means that planets 60 light years or closer may have received some of these or other transmissions. There are now over 70 confirmed exoplanets which have been discovered which are within 50 light years of Earth. However, only a few of these planets have been hypothesized as habitable to life as known on Earth. Why haven't they replied? Could it be they have not reached our level of technological development? Might our technology be so archaic and their's so advanced they are unable to receive our transmissions? Perhaps life on these planets consists of intelligent flowers and insects, or maybe dinosaurs still roam the surface. Yet another possibility: We may be looking in the wrong galaxy.
Up until very recently the search for extraterrestrial life has been limited to our own galaxy, the Milky Way. But a group of researchers at Durham University are thinking outside the galaxy so to speak. Heading up the Durham Group is Pratika Dayal, an Addison Wheeler Fellow in Cosmology. In a recent article originally published in The Conversation, Dayal presents the first ever "cosmobiological" model for targeting nearby galaxies that are best suited for life to evolve. But the findings may be bad news for life in The Milky Way.
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