Are we sharing our home galaxy with other malicious alien civilizations? The Milky Way Galaxy is one of the spiral galaxies that houses billions of stars, planets, black holes, moons, asteroids, and other cosmic objects. It spread across 25,000 light years in diameter to accommodate its billions of cosmic objects. Astronomers have conducted several telescopic observations, studying the milky way galaxy and its objects.
The quest to determine if we are alone in this universe inspired our scientists to advance this search and hoped to receive a signal someday from another civilization. In 1977, astronomers used the Big Ear Radio Telescope at Ohia State University to pick up a powerful narrowband signal from deep space. The signal’s strong intensity and frequency made many experts believe that it possesses features of extraterrestrial transmission. Astronomers named this detected continuous radio wave the Wow! Signal.
After it was first detected, scientists made an effort to detect its source again and failed. After several attempts to detect the signal again failed, scientists began to wonder about the type of advanced civilization that might have sent it. To investigate further into the actual source of the signal, Alberto Caballero, an amateur astronomer, and science communicator recently published a series of papers detailing some new insights into the Wow! Signal detected in the past century.
What Alberto Caballero discovered Hostile Alien Civilizations from Analyzing the Wow! Signal
Alberto Caballero published his first paper detailing how he studied nearby Sun-like stars to figure out the possible source of the signal. In his second publication, he determined the possibility of hostile extraterrestrial civilizations existing in the Milky Way Galaxy and the chances of them invading Earth. Despite not being an astrophysicist, Caballero focused on studying the popular Wow! Signal to determine a unique sign of extraterrestrial life.
“This paper attempts to provide an estimation of the prevalence of hostile extraterrestrial civilizations through an extrapolation of the probability that we, as the human civilization, would attack or invade an inhabited exoplanet,” Caballero wrote in the study.
Caballero arrived at his conclusion of hostile alien civilization in the Universe through a step-by-step approach. He began his study by estimating the number of countries that have invaded other countries ranging from 1915 to 2022. From his estimation, he discovered that a total of 51 countries have launched different types of invasions within that time frame.
Caballero also checked each country’s ability to launch an invasion based on its global military expenditure. Caballero arrived at what he described as “the current human probability of invasion of an extraterrestrial civilization” by dividing each country’s probability of launching an invasion by the sum of the total number of countries on Earth.
His model has it that the current odds that humans will be invaded by other alien civilizations are 0.028%. But Caballero describes this model based on the current level of human civilization and technological advancement. Since humans are not advanced enough to commence with interstellar travel, our chances of being invaded by another inhabited planet are small. The model also estimates that if the current rates of technological advancement remain in the same state, then humans will never attempt interstellar travel for the next 259 years.
As for the advancement of the human civilization to commence interstellar travel, Caballero arrived at his estimation using the Kardashev scale, which is a system that determines the advancement of a civilization based on its energy consumption. Caballero’s paper estimate that if the frequency of human invasions continues to decline at the same rate it has declined in the last 50 years to an average of minus 1.15% per year, then the probability of the human civilization invading another planet when they become a Type 1 civilization (that is about 259 years from now) will decline to 0.0014%.
These numbers may appear like probably slim chances. However, if you start multiplying it by millions of potentially habitable planets orbiting in the goldilocks zones of their stars in the Milky Way galaxy, you will realize how big it is. Caballero arrived at his final calculation by using a paper published in 2012 in the journal Mathematical SETI. In this paper, scientists predict that there may be up to 15,785 alien civilizations which could theoretically share the Milky Way Galaxy with human civilization.
From this estimation, Caballero finalized that any of these civilizations that are yet to attempt Type 1, that is about 0.22 would be completely hostile towards the human race when they make the first contact. He further revealed that the number of malicious neighbors increases to 4.42 when he estimated the number of alien civilizations with similar abilities to modern humans who are yet to attempt interstellar travel, Caballero revealed to Vice News during an Interview section.
“I don’t mention the 4.42 civilizations in my paper because 1) we don’t know whether all the civilizations in the galaxy are like us… and 2) a civilization like us would probably not pose a threat to another one since we don’t have the technology to travel to their planet,” Caballero revealed to Vice. “Four hostile alien powers don’t seem like a lot to worry about. Furthermore, the probability that humans might contact one of these malicious civilizations — and then be invaded by them — is vanishingly small,” he added.
In his publication, he also described a planet-killer asteroid having a higher probability of colliding with Earth that an extraterrestrial invasion.
“The probability of extraterrestrial invasion by a civilization whose planet we message is… around two orders of magnitude lower than the probability of a planet-killer asteroid collision,” Caballero wrote in his paper.
“The invasion probability is based on a very narrow slice of human history, and it makes many assumptions about the future development of our species. The model also presumes that alien intelligence will have brain compositions, values, and senses of empathy similar to those of humans, which may simply not be the case,” Caballero told Vice.
This implies that he recognizes the fact that his models also have limitations. “I did the paper-based only on life as we know it,” Caballero said. “We don’t know the mind of extraterrestrials.” We still have to wait for a few hundred years until we become a type 1 civilization to realize the possibilities of Caballero’s model.
Alien Invasion has remained a nightmare no human will ever wish to experience. Based on Caballero’s model, we can see that probability of alien civilizations invading Earth is less than the probability of planet killer asteroid colliding with our home planet.
However, we should remain optimistic that if any civilization makes contact with Earth, they may actually come in peace or mean harm to the human race. What do you think about Caballero’s publication?