Good morning, cruel world. Time for some more news of the motherfucking extraterrestrial variety.
Scientists have now released an estimate on the possible amount of Communicating Extra-Terrestrial Intelligent (CETI) civilizations in our galaxy, positing in a new Astrophysical Journal piece that the number is most likely a comforting yet theoretical 36.
Speaking on the previous use of the Drake equation in earlier calculations of this nature, study authors pointed to the inherent unknowability of such an 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," study co-author and University of Nottingham astrophysics professor Christopher Conselice told CNN on Tuesday. "One of them is that life forms in a scientific way—that is if the right conditions are met then life will form."
Conselice and the rest of the team put this basis—namely that life will form if certain conditions are met—to use when developing the Astrobiological Copernican Principle establishing strong and weak limits on possible life in the galaxy. In short, the Astrobiological Copernican Principle is named as such because it's derived from the larger assumption that our existence is not unique.
Life, using Earth as a comparison point, forms after 4.5 to 5.5 billion years. That's the "strong limit" of the Astrobiological Copernican. The "weak limit," meanwhile, builds from the notion that a planet sees life formed after "at least" four billion years, though when it's formed could happen at any point after the four-billion mark.
The 36 civilizations estimate, per the authors, was arrived at by following the "strong limit" of the Astrobiological Copernican. That figure, however, is conceded as being on the "lower" end of possibility.
The 2019/2020 run of humans has been a remarkably stacked period for space news, including the UAP videos-inspired vindication of Tom DeLonge and SpaceX becoming the first private company to send people to the International Space Station in collaboration with NASA.
This week, DeLonge publicly reached out to SpaceX boss Elon Musk with an offer to have his To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science brief him on matters of potential extraterrestrial interest: