This Week's Debate: Milky Way's Twin Found --What Do You Think the Chances Are of a Human Level Civilization (or Beyond) Existing There?
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June 02, 2011

This Week's Debate: Milky Way's Twin Found --What Do You Think the Chances Are of a Human Level Civilization (or Beyond) Existing There?

Milky-way-twin-spiral

"If we had the technology to escape the Milky Way and could look down on it from intergalactic space, this view is close to the one we would see — striking spiral arms wrapping around a dense, elongated nucleus and a dusty disc," according to an ESO statement. "There is even a distorted companion galaxy — NGC 6744A, seen here as a smudge to the lower right of NGC 6744, which is reminiscent of one of the Milky Way’s neighboring Magellanic Clouds."

The main difference between NGC 6744 and the Milky Way is the two galaxies' size. While our galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years across, our "twin" galaxy extends to almost twice that diameter, researchers said.

The brilliant object is one of the largest and nearest spiral galaxies to Earth. It's about as bright as 60 billion suns, and its light spreads across a large area in the sky — about two-thirds the width of the full moon — making the galaxy visible as a hazy glow through a small telescope. The reddish spots along the spiral arms in NGC 6744 represent regions where new stars are being born.

The picture was created by combining four exposures taken through different filters that collected blue, yellow-green and red light and the glow coming from hydrogen gas. These are shown in the new picture as blue, green, orange and red, respectively.

What Do You Think the Chances Are of a Human Level or Beyond Civilization Existing There?

Image Credit: This picture of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6744, which could be the Milky Way's twin, was taken at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile.


               
       

Comments

Chance are astronomically high (pun intended).

Here's a good quote:

"That's 500 billion planets out there, and bear in mind there are 100 billion other galaxies. To think this [the Earth] is the only place where anything interesting is happening, you have got to be really audacious to take that point of view."

Seth Shostak, SETI senior astronomer

The chance is about 100.000 %. It's totally ridiculous to think intelligent life only happened here. Considering the huge amount of planets, and the tendency of life to spread everywhere, it's a certainty someone else is out there. The clostest one might just happen to be 1000 light years away, so we won't be seeing them any time soon.

I remember the old equation about other intelligent life in the universe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation
Of course, back then the factors
# fi = 0.01 (1% of which will be intelligent life)
# fc = 0.01 (1% of which will be able to communicate)
Were not 1% for each but 10% and 10%. This is 100 times more than what wikipedia says, and even then it is probably too low a count.
This puts the # of civilizations that we can talk to at 1000, and I think there's more wrong with many of the factors in the wiki.

I'd say there's probably several thousand civilizations in our galaxy right now....and life itself is probably almost everywhere.

@Ronald:

Well I certainly like your optimism, and I hope you are right! (It would be exciting to think that much life is out there, waiting to interact with us, hopefully in a positive non violent way.)

But of course the biggest question, and classical paradox remains: if there is indeed so much life out there, then where are they? Why haven't we detected them yet?

With so many civilizations, you would think one stray radio signal, laser pulse, high powered radar beacon, or even stray self replicating probes... something would have come our way by now.

Mathematically if there are that many civilizations, then robotic-probes or signals from some of them should have reached us by now.

Again, I sure as heck hope you are correct and that we are not alone... but it is rather mysterious that we are not finding anything else out there... yet.

Just imagine that intelligent life visited us some 50,000 years ago, what would they have found?
It's not a right question to ask where they are because they may have been here when we were still thinking that the world iam flat.

Just imagine that intelligent life visited us some 50,000 years ago, what would they have found?
It's not a right question to ask where they are because they may have been here when we were still thinking that the world iam flat.

Chances are probably greater than our own ignorance of the universe around us.

Quit quoting everything, for example: "(or beyond)."
doesn't sound real enough.

Even though there are many, many intelligent civilisations out there, i wish that just one would make itself known to the whole World.

What an oddly naive question!

Maybe the disclosure-is-imminent meme is running me, but I thought we'd moved on from speculating about 'if'. I look at that smudge and see it teeming with sentient civilisations!

How could it not hae life? It looks to be the same as our on galaxy, except much bigger. We havent even explored all of our own galaxy. The is more than likely life and intelliegent life all over the "Milky Way".

How could it not hae life? It looks to be the same as our on galaxy, except much bigger. We havent even explored all of our own galaxy. The is more than likely life and intelliegent life all over the "Milky Way".


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