We are interested in questions about life and intelligence in the universe, about its eternity, about the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. It is difficult for us to accept the idea that we are alone in a boundless universe.
However, long-term searches for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations have so far been unsuccessful. Space is silent. The study of other planets in the Solar system also does not say that there are intelligent beings there. But still, the research results do not fully prove that we are alone in the universe.
The idea that the universe is inhabited was widely spread in ancient times. The idea of highly developed beings of the Universe, at various stages of the evolutionary process, appeared. Naturally, in those distant times, the question of the search for extraterrestrial civilizations did not become. There was also no term “extraterrestrial civilization” As for the ways of searching for an extraterrestrial civilization, direct contacts or mutual visits were considered as the main direction. At the same time, the most unrealistic ways of reaching other worlds by earthlings were put forward, starting from the use of birds, balloons and up to the famous project “from a cannon to the Moon” The possibility of interplanetary communications was scientifically justified by K. E. Tsialkovsky in the early 20th century, and in the middle of the century it was realized.
What is the problem of the existence and search for life in the Universe from the point of view of today? There are two points of view:
First: Proponents believe that life is a phenomenon common in the Universe and there are many worlds where civilizations live. Their level of development may be higher than that of terrestrial civilizations. This point of view is based on the following facts and assumptions:
a) in the metagalaxy there are a huge number of stars similar to our Sun.
b) planets can occur not only in our Sun, but also in many other stars.
c) the slow rotation of stars of certain spectral classes around the axes may be due to the fact that there are planetary systems around these stars.
d) there are planetary systems, perhaps even some of the stars closest to the Sun.
e) the possibility of the existence of non-protein forms of life, fundamentally different from those that are common on Earth, is not excluded.
Second, the proponents of another point of view believe that life in the universe is an extremely rare and perhaps unique phenomenon. It is justified:
a) the probability that life will arise in the course of the evolution of inanimate matter is very small, since in the course of such evolution there are a huge number of obstacles to the formation and subsequent complication of living cells.
b) nothing specific about non-protein life forms is known to science.
c) in the Solar system, highly organized life forms exist only on Earth. On other planets, there were no organisms that have a great adaptability to living conditions.
d) there is no incontrovertible evidence that the Earth has ever been visited by messengers from other worlds.
e) radio searches for signals of sudden civilizations have not yet been successful.
e) so far, no signs of engineering activity of extraterrestrial civilizations have been found; it is strange to believe that some of them could have reached a high level of development.
1 As for the first, modern molecular biology solves questions, molecular biology solves questions related to the origin of life. The possibility of life in the interstellar sphere, where many different organic molecules have been found, such as carbon monoxide, methyl alcohol, and formaldehyde, is not excluded. This means that even more complex molecules can be formed in the vast clouds of cosmic matter. Maybe there is even something similar to the synthesis of amino acids. In short, it is possible that amino acids and proteins (the basis of a living cell) can arise not only on the surface of the planet, and this greatly expands the possibilities of the emergence of life. A living organism – a biological being-is inextricably linked to the environment in which it exists, it reflects the properties of the environment, depends on it.
2 The first attempt to detect intelligent signals was made by American scientists in 1961.
On the wave of 1420 MHz, two close stars taiKita and epsilon Eridani were listened to. As a result of this experiment, no intelligent response signals could be detected.
In 1974, after modernization, the giant Arecibo radio telescope was opened. A powerful radio signal carrying a coded message from the Earth was sent into space in the direction of a globular cluster in the constellation of Hercules, located at a distance of 24,000 sv. years from us. To get the answer, at best, 48,000 years. The search for extraterrestrial life is barely beginning. You can search for the signals of all known stars, like our Sun, located within 100 sv. years from the Earth. The frequencies of such a contact are in the range of 1400-1730 MHz.
The best way to discover other civilizations would be through interstellar travel by earthlings. But today such trips are impossible. No spacecraft can travel at the speed of light. The flight of the nearest neighbor, alpha Centauri, at the speed of a modern spacecraft would take thousands of years. Even if it were possible to create a spacecraft moving at a speed close to the speed of light, it would take 100 times more energy to fly to the nearest star than the inhabitants of the Earth consume in a year today.
In 1987, the Pioneer-10 spacecraft left the Solar System for the first time. This spacecraft and later “Pioneer-11” carried on board plates with symbolic messages to all intelligent beings, which explain when, where and by whom these spacecraft were launched. Establishing contact with intelligent civilizations will, of course, be the greatest event in the history of our Earth civilization.
Often, unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are identified with the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations.
The appearance of strange objects in the sky, people have observed since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. However, the first UFO sightings are usually associated with reports of the appearance of unidentified flying objects in the late 50s of the XX century. “On June 16, 1948, test pilot Apraksin lifted his car into the air. After 30 minutes at an altitude of 10500m, he noticed an object in the shape of a cucumber going with a decrease in the transverse course. Light rays radiated from it. Apraksin directed the plane towards the object. When the distance between them was reduced to 10 km, the rays of the object “opened like a fan” and “flashed” the plane for a moment blinding the pilot. The electrical part of the control of the aircraft and the engine failed. “
Most of the phenomena taken for UFOs are associated with the launch of rocket technology, the satellite. When launching rockets under certain conditions of illumination by the sun, there are very complex effects associated with the scattering of light on a gas-dust cloud. This cloud can take a variety of forms.
Sometimes, in difficult weather conditions, Venus and Jupiter are mistaken for UFOs by some observers.
Most of the anomalous phenomena turned out to be related and similar to mirages, which can be seen by many people at the same time. A hypothesis is also put forward about the existence of”parallel worlds” in space and on Earth, with which, under certain conditions, the human psyche is supposedly able to contact. Finally, there are supporters of the hypothesis that UFOs are associated with the activities of extraterrestrial civilizations. There are many points of view about why they come to us. Here are some of them. The development of any civilization entails the multiplication of certain indicators (overpopulation, mineral starvation, environmental pollution, etc.).this forces the civilization to expand its “living space”, to look for new mineral springs.
Dr. S. Friedman suggests that the Earth is the nearest planet for the “aliens”. It is at a lower level of development, where they observe the life of a primitive society (which is in a state of constant wars, the destruction of nature, the killing of animals for food, etc.), but the question remains open: “Why do these “aliens” not come into contact with us?»
According to astrophysicist I. Shklovsky, a supercivilization that surpassed us in development by hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years, could not come into contact with us, because there would be no level at which we could meet. G. Kunitsyn thinks differently, he believes that the contacts were at the dawn of human history. It was then that the aliens acted as our teachers and patrons. But today such contacts have become dangerous, so the aliens try to avoid contact with us as much as possible.
Thus, the problem of extraterrestrial civilizations is more complex than it may seem at first glance. It is possible to argue and make new arguments in favor or against the reality of extraterrestrial civilizations, but only further observations and experiments will allow us to find out whether there are inhabited worlds somewhere or whether we are alone, at least within our galaxy.