60 million stars: Not one alien detected + Bad news for us if asteroid targets Earth

C C Offline
NASA simulated an asteroid headed for Earth & has bad news for us

EXCERPT: . . . During the annual Planetary Defense Conference, scientists from a number of space agencies participated in a simulated emergency response scenario where a fictional asteroid called 2021 PDC was bound for Earth. The scientists determined they had six months to plan and as the fictional days and months passed, the future began to look incredibly bleak.

As new information began to pour in, it became clear that the asteroid was on track to impact Europe. [...] The real test was simulating a response that would save lives. The participants considered many options, including trying to nudge the asteroid off course, but it was already too close to Earth for that to be effective. Additionally, the scientist determined that “the force required to shift fictional asteroid 2021 PDC off a collision course with Earth is so lark that it risks breaking up the asteroid — perhaps creating multiple large fragments that could impact Earth.”

The scientists also considered the use of nuclear explosives to destroy or at least severely reduce the odds of any large impactor being able to pass through Earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, the team was faced with the reality that “international laws rule out use of nuclear weapons in space,” meaning that there was little they could do on such short notice.

“The Space Missions Planning and Advisory Group (SMPAG) has concluded that no space missions can be launched to fictional asteroid 2021 PDC in time to deflect or disrupt it,” the ESA notes in its chronicle of the exercise... (MORE - details)

60 million stars and not one alien detected

INTRO: Astrobiologists with the Breakthrough Listen project have released the preliminary results of a SETI survey, in which the team hunted for radio signals along a line of sight that extends toward the galactic center. The search for extraterrestrial radio signals is now in its seventh decade, and we have yet to find any trace of intelligent life. Continue the search we must, however, as no greater unsolved scientific mystery exists than the question of whether or not we’re alone in the universe.

The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, is currently limited to searches of supposed alien technosignatures—things like optical and microwave signals and evidence of megastructures. That said, radio signals continue to be the most popular SETI target, as focused radio emissions could signal the presence of an alien civilization, whether the leakage of those radio signals is deliberate or accidental... (MORE -details )
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The mediocrity principle is the philosophical notion that "if an item is drawn at random from one of several sets or categories, it's likelier to come from the most numerous category than from any one of the less numerous categories". [...] The mediocrity principle suggests, given the existence of life on Earth, that life typically exists on Earth-like planets throughout the universe.

The problem with that, however, is that we have not found a legit Earth-like exo-planet yet that actually features all those special conditions. What are claimed to be "Earth-like" worlds is the equivalent of calling concrete mix and pancake mix the same thing.
stryder Offline
An odd and probably obsurd consideration. Increase the mass of the impactor, this would cause it's mass to be effected even more by our star pulling it off trajectory. The only problem with this is it would likely then come around again with a bigger mass and be a further thread, however it would at least increase the time you have to work out the problem.
Magical Realist Offline
TV news story on this said that 2/3's of the asteroids out there are currently undetected. That will make me sleep well tonight. Elon better get that Mars mission ready pronto. If the pandemic taught us anything it's that we are not immune to end of the world scenarios.
Zinjanthropos Online
Thinking of a parent penguin returning from the sea to feed its one chick within a colony containing 2 million chicks. The adult is tuned in to listen for the one signal that will identify his own. How do they do it? Probably one wavelength of sound that makes all the difference.

When we look for a techno-signature, are we looking for one particular type? A simple radio transmission between two ham set operators on some distant planet or something akin to an I Love Lucy episode filtering through space? Are our computers that good?

I think Earth’s rarest feature may be life on land. I just can’t see the techno-signal we’re looking for originating from the depths of watery oceans where intelligent creatures may dominate.

I think Seti's biggest problems will originate from Earth. As much as scientists and the world want to receive inter galactic signals from ET, I suspect there are some who will do everything in their power to mess with the project.
Leigha Offline
Re: aliens - hmm, it reminds me of this adage “man dips cup into the ocean and comes up with no fish.” Big Grin

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