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extraterrestrial civilization

39 light-years away

By Robert JackPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

If someone asks if there is an extraterrestrial civilization in the universe, I believe most people will give a positive answer. It is also widely believed in the scientific community that there should be extraterrestrial civilizations in the universe, and they are quite numerous.

Interestingly, according to a paper published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on May 6, 2022, astronomers have made bold speculation: an alien civilization may have built a giant "beacon" 39 light-years away, and here's how it happened.

The paper comes from a research team led by astrophysicist Sean Raymond of the University of Bordeaux, France. The researchers believe that when intelligent civilizations in the universe develop to a certain extent, they are bound to desire to find other intelligent civilizations, and if they can't, they may also actively declare their existence in the universe in some way, so that other intelligent civilizations can find them and get in touch with them.

On this basis, researchers have proposed the hypothesis that an alien civilization might be able to manipulate the orbits of planets in a star system through technological means, making them into "Multi-resonant planetary systems" (Multi-resonant planetary systems), while setting the orbits of the planetary systems to The planetary system's orbits are scaled to a specific numerical code, which is expected to serve as a giant "beacon" to attract the attention of other intelligent civilizations.

After the publication of this paper, a star system 39 light-years away in the sky in the constellation Aquarius, whose main star was first discovered by the TRAPPIST telescope in Chile, was soon noticed and named "TRAPPIST-1 ".

Observations show that TRAPPIST-1 has a planetary system of seven planets, which is a "multi resonant planetary system" with orbital periods between neighboring planets in the order of inside-out "8:5, 5:3, 3:2, 3:2, 4:3, 3:2", and all planets follow a complex but predictable pattern, as shown in the figure.

The diagram above shows the three outermost planets in the TRAPPIST-1 star system, and it can be seen that whenever two neighboring planets are closest to each other, a third planet must appear in the position indicated by the arrow in the diagram, which is always in a straight line through the two neighboring planets. In fact, in addition to these three planets, all the other planets in the star system also follow this pattern.

It is important to know that we have never found such a "multi resonant planetary system" with as many as seven planets in the past, which is why astronomers have ventured to speculate that this could be a giant "beacon".

So the question is, does the TRAPPIST-1 star system have what it takes to give birth to an extraterrestrial civilization? Let's see.

As you can see, the "TRAPPIST-1" star system is much more "compact" than the solar system, so much so that the distance from the outermost planet to the main star is not even close to the distance from Mercury to the Sun (note the "TRAPPIST-1" star system in the diagram). TRAPPIST-1" star system is magnified by a factor of 25).

Life would not be possible in a solar system so close to the main star, but this is not the case for the "TRAPPIST-1" star system, whose main star is about 11% of the radius of the Sun and only 8% of the Sun's mass and is a dull red dwarf.

Compared to the Sun, the surface temperature of TRAPPIST-1 is much lower (about 2300 degrees Celsius), so the habitable zone of the TRAPPIST-1 stellar system is more inner than the solar system, and according to astronomers' estimates, there are 4 planets in the system. According to astronomers' estimates, four planets in the system are located in the habitable zone (e, f, g, and h).

Importantly, all seven planets in the TRAPPIST-1 star system are rocky planets like Earth, with densities and volumes similar to Earth's, in addition to the fact that the star system is about 7.6 billion years old, older than our solar system.

In a star system with 4 rocky planets located in the habitable zone, this means that the surface of these planets allows the existence of liquid water and the possibility of life being born there, based on this, and the fact that this star system is older than our solar system, life should have enough time to evolve, so we cannot exclude the possibility of an alien civilization being born in this star system.

It is conceivable that if an extraterrestrial civilization does exist in the TRAPPIST-1 star system and has mastered high enough technology, then they could have built a giant "beacon" as astronomers have speculated.

It is worth mentioning that if this is the case, then they have undoubtedly succeeded in attracting the attention of our Earth civilization. As it stands now, the famous James Webb Space Telescope has made it a target for future observations.

In addition, an organization called "METI" is preparing to send a message to the TRAPPIST-1 star system.

"The full name of METI is "Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence", which translates to "sending messages to extraterrestrial intelligent life". "The organization has already sent high-powered radio signals to several star systems, and according to their plans, the message to the star system "TRAPPIST-1" will depart from Earth on Oct. 4, 2022.

However, considering that the star is 39 light-years away, so even if there is an alien civilization and they reply to the Earth in time, it will take up to 78 years for our Earth civilization to receive their message, relatively speaking, the James Webb Space Telescope gives the observation results more worthy of our expectation.


About the Creator

Robert Jack

One of the secrets of emotional stability for adults is to keep the expectations of others to a minimum.

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    Robert JackWritten by Robert Jack

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