A leading astronomer reveals there are currently no plans for how scientists should report or respond to alien contact.
The question “Are we alone?” will earn you a few raised eyebrows and smirks at dinner parties, but this is an area in which international governments have invested billions of dollars.
However, a leading astronomer has revealed that despite buckets of money being poured into the search for extraterrestrials, there is currently no policy or reporting system in place for experts to follow if they come into contact. contact with intelligent life that is not of this world.
Australian astronomer-at-large Professor Fred Watson AM told news.com.au that despite a lengthy checklist to authenticate any suspected contact, there was no known ‘take me to your leader’ policy. .
“There’s nothing in place… there’s a well-established chain of boxes that need to be ticked and that would go through a lot of analysis to make sure what you’re talking about is a real phenomenon,” Prof Watson said. .
“However, once scientists identify what happened, it would then be up to the political leaders of the world to decide what to do about it, and as far as I know there is no plan in place. .”
This is a surprising oversight on the part of world governments that leaves all the responsibility in the hands of often small research teams working on various contact projects.
Multiple signals have been picked up in the recent past by researchers that have aroused the enthusiasm of the scientific community at large.
However, Professor Watson said the exhaustive authentication tests conducted by experts often rule out the possibility of intelligent life almost instantly.
“When you take into account all the real phenomena that could be related to it – and that pretty much eliminates everything,” he said.
“There was a case with the Breakthrough Listen project – a $100 million funded initiative by a Russian billionaire, Yuri Milner, which uses two radio telescopes, one of which is in the Parkes Radio Telescope – which has received a signal that had similarities to those we send ourselves.
“It came from our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, which we know has a vaguely Earth-like planet, and its frequency drifted due to the Doppler effect, similar to human radio signals.
“However, this was ruled out because other similar signals used by other radio sources around the telescope had exactly the same characteristics.
“If scientists had a high level of confidence in the signal, it would have been released to the scientific community.”
With NASA recently ramping up its (public) UFO research, excitement has been growing in some corners of the internet about the possibility of public admission pending alien contact from the Pentagon.
However, Professor Watson said that, despite rare exceptions, there was an almost ‘universal’ consensus in the scientific community that humans are nature’s unexpected trophy.
“The overwhelming view is that although microbial life may exist…there is a bleak outlook on the existence of intelligent life forms,” he said.
“Getting from a microbe to a single-celled organism where we are now as humans takes an incredible amount of energy…and that’s before you even begin the evolutionary process.
“The common view is that we’re just a complete freak of nature – intelligent life is so rare and such an unlikely event.”
Professor Watson acknowledged that the sheer number of stars and planets in the known universe – “10 to the power of 23 stars with at least one planet” – meant that statistically it was highly unlikely that there were there are no other intelligent life forms. (known as the Fermi paradox).
“We haven’t seen any signs of intelligent life though – and that’s probably because there isn’t any,” he said.
“If so, it could be 2 billion light years away, they could still be building with sticks because it’s so rare.”
While aliens and other worlds fire the imagination of even the most jaded academic, Prof Watson said there were more immediate issues – and dangers – from above that astronomers were busy with.
“Our sun often emits solar flares, and that is a threat to our infrastructure,” he said.
Solar flares are bursts of energy from the sun that direct a shower of magnetized particles in any direction.
If the Earth is in this direction, the consequences for the global power grid can be devastating.
“The biggest we know of was in 1859, known as the Carrington event, and if it happened today it would cause massive blackouts and blackouts around the world, even disrupting internet,” Professor Watson warned.
“The biggest recent eruption was in 1989, and it knocked out the power grid in Quebec for 12 hours because the magnetic fields tripped all the circuit breakers.
“Much of our infrastructure depends on satellites working properly and they are at risk from currents that could be released by the sun causing these problems.
“A Carrington event today would result in massive blackouts and blackouts…governments are aware of the potential of this so they are building as much protection as possible but something this big could overwhelm protection .”