aliens

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The Milky Way is 13 BILLION years old. Some of our Galaxy’s oldest stars were born near the beginning of the Universe itself. During all these eons of time, we know at least one technological civilization has been born – US!

But if the Galaxy is so ancient, and we know it can create life, why haven’t we heard from anybody else? If another civilization was just 0.1% of the Galaxy’s age older than we are, they would be millions of years further along than us and presumably more advanced. If we are already on the cusp of sending life to other worlds, shouldn’t the Milky Way be teeming with alien ships and colonies by now?

Maybe. But it’s also possible that we’ve been looking in the wrong place. Recent computer simulations by Jason T. Wright et al suggest that the best place to look for ancient space-faring civilizations might be the core of the Galaxy, a relatively unexplored target in the search for extra terrestrial intelligence.

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A new scientific report suggests that there are 29 planets in our cosmic neighbourhood where alien life could potentially see and hear evidence of humans on Earth, based on humanity’s own techniques for studying the universe.

The report was published Wednesday by two New York-based astronomers in the journal Nature, in an effort to narrow down our own search for alien life among the stars. It doesn’t attempt to prove that anyone is actually out there listening, or that they’d want to hear from us if they were. The report simply tries to determine where our most likely alien audiences would be.

The authors assume that aliens would be able to spot Earth by seeing its faint shadow as it transits in front of the sun — a technique that we’ve used to find many Earth-like worlds to date.

“One way we find planets is if they block out part of the light from their host star,” Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University and co-author of the article, told The Guardian. “We asked, ‘Who would we be the aliens for, if somebody else was looking?’ There is this tiny sliver in the sky where other star systems have a cosmic front seat to find Earth as a transiting planet.”

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NASA's new chief is setting up an effort to further study unidentified flying objects within his first month in office.

Bill Nelson, the former Florida senator and spaceflight veteran, told CNN Business' Rachel Crane during a wide-ranging interview on Thursday that it's not clear to anyone — even in the upper echelons of the US space agency — what the high-speed objects observed by Navy pilots are.

Nelson added that he does not believe the UFOs are evidence of extraterrestrials visiting Earth. "I think I would know" if that were the case, Nelson said. But, he acknowledged, it'd be premature to rule that out as a possibility.

Nelson's comments echo the findings of a new Pentagon report expected to be released later this month. Five sources familiar with the results of that study told CNN that US intelligence officials found no evidence that the UFOs are alien spacecraft, but investigators also have not reached a definitive assessment as to what these mysterious objects might be.

"We don't know if it's extraterrestrial. We don't know if it's an enemy. We don't know if it's an optical phenomenon," Nelson said. "We don't think [it's an optical phenomenon] because of the characteristics that those Navy jet pilots described ... And so the bottom line is, we want to know."

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