Wednesday, April 25, 2012
The short answer is we don't know. But since this post should probably be a bit longer, I'll ask another question. Is there a good chance of intelligent extraterrestrial life in the universe?
We have not yet made contact with extraterrestrials. SETI, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, has not found anything. We have sent out satellites with greetings in various languages, in hopes that, if the satellite finds anything, they might be able to decode what we're saying. However, for life to exist on a planet, it has to have very certain conditions for life. We haven't seen any planets that could sustain life aside from our own. On top of that, where would the life have come from? Life can't create itself.
If life did exist out there, there's little chance we'll ever see it. If we traveled at one tenth the speed of light, a trip to our nearest star would take 43 years. And enormous amounts of energy is necessary for such travel. Moving at the speeds this type of travel require is dangerous. Hitting a single speck of dust could do serious damage to the outside of a space ship.
Some people like to think that the government knows about the existance of aliens and is covering it up. Why would they do that and continue to spend millions of dollars on the search for them?
So it's unlikely we'll find intelligent life any time soon. But still, who knows?