Newsletter – June 2020
There could be more than 30 Alien Civilizations in our Galaxy
Note: This research article draws our attention for two reasons:
1. The ancient Buddhist scriptures state that there are 31 planes of existence, You can learn about that teaching here:
2. Pali Buddhist texts state that life on earth, as well as the life of earth itself, is numbered. (Sattasūriya sutta in the Aṅguttara Nikāya AN 7.66) The following research article also agree that our civilization could be short lived.
By Adam Smith / The Independent UK
There could be more than 30 alien civilizations in our galaxy, researchers have found in a major study.
A new paper looked to understand how many planets in our neighborhood could be home to alien life, by assuming that life develops on other planets in a similar way to how it develops on Earth, and matching that to planets that could be home to similar evolution.
It found that there could be dozens of active civilizations waiting to be found in our Milky Way. But it could also shed light on our own fate, and suggest our prospects for long-term survival are lower than we may have thought.
“There should be at least a few dozen active civilizations in our Galaxy under the assumption that it takes 5 billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as on Earth,” Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham said in a statement.
“The idea is looking at evolution, but on a cosmic scale. We call this calculation the Astrobiological Copernican Limit.”
One is the ‘weak’ limit, which suggests that intelligent life forms on a planet any time after 5 billion years. The other is the ‘Strong’ limit where life formed between 4.5 billion and 5 billion years years ago.
The new research used the latter, and also assumed that these new species would need to develop in metal-rich environments. This is because human beings developed near a metal-rich environment, due to the metal present in the Sun.
Previous research from 2012 suggests a suitable “minimum stellar metallicity” required for the formation of planets that would be similar to Earth.
Researchers were then able to use those assumptions about where life may form to understand how many planets in our Milky Way would be able to satisfy those conditions.
Detecting any civilisations in our galaxy is strongly dependent on how well we can pick up signals being sent into space.
These include radio transmissions from satellites and television. If these technological civilizations last as long as ours, which has been sending out signals for the last century or so, then it is estimated there could be 36 ongoing intelligent civilizations.
While that might be the case, interacting with them would be difficult. The average distance to any possible civilization would be 17,000 light years, which makes communication very challenging.
The other scenario is that we are the only intelligent life in the galaxy, and that civilisations die out before we can detect them.
“Our new research suggests that searches for extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations not only reveals the existence of how life forms, but also gives us clues for how long our own civilization will last,” Professor Conselice said.
“If we find that intelligent life is common then this would reveal that our civilization could exist for much longer than a few hundred years, alternatively if we find that there are no active civilizations in our Galaxy it is a bad sign for our own long-term existence. By searching for extraterrestrial intelligent life — even if we find nothing — we are discovering our own future and fate.”
The new study was led by the University of Nottingham and published today in The Astrophysical Journal.
This is not the only recent news to imply the development of intelligent life in the galaxy. Scientists have found a potential habitable planet called ‘Proxima b’ around the star Proxima Centauri, approximately 4.2 light years from the Sun.
It receives comparable amounts of energy to that the Earth gets from the Sun. If there is liquid form on the planet, it could harbor life, but researchers said there is still much to be done before that can be confirmed, such as checking for the atmosphere and chemicals that could support life.
Monthly Sila Program and Dhamma Talk on Saturday, July 4th
Saturday, July 4, is the Esala full-moon day. The Vihara will offer two programs on July 4th for you to participate in from home. They both are through YouTube live streaming. You can join the programs here:
Once you are on the page, join the live programs by clicking.
7:00 am: Administering the Eight Precepts and morning Puja
7:00 pm: Dhamma Deshana in Sinhala and Terminating Sila observance
(Since Sila observants find numerous online sources that offer Buddhist programs for them to participate in from home, the Vihara will offer only these two program tomorrow.)
Vassana Retreat Begins on Nikini Full Moon Day
All the Nikayas in Sri Lanka have come to a consensus that the Vassa season begins immediately after the full moon day in August. Accordingly, resident monks at the Vihara will observe the rainy retreat on August 4, 2020, the day following the Nikini full moon day.
You will receive a separate message with details about the Vas Aradhana, programs during the Vassana season, and the Kathina ceremony.
Next Live-Stream Service on Sunday, July 5th
Maha Sangha will conduct the next live-stream morning service on Sunday, July 5th, at 9:00 am. We are requesting parents to mark the service on calendar and participate with their children.