We could be waiting 1,500 years before aliens make contact

It might take another 1,500 years before extraterrestrial aliens make contact with the human race, a team of astronomers has predicted. The scientists performed a calculation based on the likelihood of technological civilisations arising among the stars, and the probable length of time they had been transmitting signals across space. They concluded there was no reason to think we are alone in the universe. US researcher Evan Solomonides, a PhD student from Cornell University, said: “We haven’t heard from aliens yet, as space is a big place – but that doesn’t mean no one is out there.“

It’s possible to hear any time at all, but it becomes likely we will have heard around 1,500 years from now.

Researcher Evan Solomonides

Astronomers have long pondered why, given the number of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way, there has been such a deafening silence from the cosmos – despite attempts by Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) scientists to eavesdrop on alien signals. There are more than 200 billion stars in the Milky Way, almost half of which may host Earth-like planets, according to one estimate. If life is not unique to the Earth and has evolved in a similar way elsewhere, the galaxy should be teeming with civilisations. Yet not one confirmed alien signal has ever been detected. This puzzle was highlighted in 1950 by Italian physicist Enrico Fermi in what has become known as the “Fermi Paradox”.