The Truth Is Out There

Topics: Milky Way, Solar System, Extraterrestrial life Pages: 3 (1198 words) Published: April 21, 2013
The Truth is out There

Aliens, the word alone brings up images of little gray men with huge black eyes and equally large heads. Our imaginations begin to run wild with the possibilities that there could be. For now the thought of intelligent life out in the Galaxy is in the realm of Science Fiction. That is just what Iain Murray states in his article “Humans Are Unlikely Ever to Encounter Alien Life.” He makes very compelling arguments why there is very little chance of life, much less intelligent life, developing on other planets. However, his views are short sited and his inclusion of ever in his title show that he is basing all his thoughts on current knowledge. Firstly, the sum of his argument is based on just some seventy odd years of our understanding of solar systems and our galaxy. Iain states “But in 40 years of searching, we have detected no such signal” (Murray) referring to the fact that other Intelligent races would send out signals like we ourselves have done but we have yet to detect them. Radio waves are the most likely signals we would be able to pick up and identify. Radio waves travel at the speed of light in a vacuum, such as space, that is 186,000 miles a second (Christian). Now this seems extremely fast but when you put this in contrast to the size of the Milky Way galaxy that is 100,000 light years in diameter (Christian and Safi-Harb) we see that signals do have a long way to travel. Iain also points out that our solar system is in a relatively 'safe' spot in the Galaxy “Our sun is "a star rich in metal, a star found in a safe region of a spiral galaxy, a star moving very slowly on its galactic pinwheel ... “ (Murray). Let’s suppose that on the opposite side of the galaxy there is a solar system similar to ours with intelligent life and that at the dawn of modern humans they started sending out signals. Those signals would have only been traveling for about 27,000 years and it will be another 17,000 years before their first signals...
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