According to astronomers there are billions of galaxies in the universe, each one of them contain at least a trillion stars.
This ultimately means there are likely trillions of habitable planets in the cosmos. But, if such habitable planets are so many, then why have we not discovered any signals from intelligent life forms? This is also known as The Fermi Paradox. Where are all the aliens?
New research, presented by scientists from the University of Oxford, claims that intelligent aliens haven't made contact yet because they are hibernating until circumstances in the cosmos become more habitable.
Their research also claims that alien lifeforms are most likely to have moved to a digital-based way of life. Living life as a machine would have many benefits, like being able to process information quicker and being less defenseless to disease and death, they write.
But supercomputers capable of handling huge amounts of information are known to be more effective at lower temperatures. That's because a large amount of energy is necessary to cool down the processing movement of a super-fast machine. With this reason, intelligent machine-based lifeforms have selected to go into hibernation until the conditions of the cosmos starts to cool down, according to the scientists.
They are calling their theory the 'aestivation hypothesis.' The researchers, led by Dr Anders Sandberg, said in the Journal of British Interplanetary Society, said:
“If a civilization wants to maximize computation it appears rational to aestivate until the far future in order to exploit the low temperature environment. We hence suggest the "aestivation hypothesis": the reason we are not observing manifestations of alien civilizations is that they are currently (mostly) inactive, patiently waiting for future cosmic eras.”
|A new study claims that alien lifeforms are most likely to have shifted to a digital-based existence. A scene from Terminator Genisys is pictured
The stage of background radiation of the cosmos is presently three degrees Kelvin above zero, which could be unbearably hot for machine-based life, the scientists said. As the universe inflates and stars die out over the course of millions of years, it's probable that the temperature will drop back to absolute zero.
This would be the perfect time for aliens to come out of hibernation, the researchers claimed. Dr Sandberg wrote on a personal blog:
“An advanced civilization may have explored a big chunk of the universe, done what is doable with existing nature, and now mostly have internal "cultural" things to do. These things can be regarded as information processing. If they want to maximize processing they should not do it today but wait until the cold future when they will get tremendously more done. They should hence aestivate.”
He added we may one day be able to detect presence of these dormant lifeforms. Dr Sandberg told Gizmodo: “The thing to look for is a suspicious absence of processes that would waste resources useful for the aestivators,”
The scientists propose that we ought to be looking out for a variety of processes including stars imploding into black holes, galactic winds losing gas in space, collisions between galaxies and galaxy clusters splitting up as the universe expands.