Communication with Extraterrestrial Civilizations: Spatial Distances and Boundaries

Research into the presence of extraterrestrial life has always fascinated humanity, fueling our curiosity as to what might exist beyond our planet. A scientific study published in The Astrophysical Journal in June 2020 calculated that they may exist At least 36 active and communicating intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations Our galaxy, in the Milky Way. The discovery raises interesting questions about the possibility of intelligent life outside our world and the challenges we face in detecting their presence.

communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations
Figure 1 – Is communication with extraterrestrial civilizations possible? A study reveals the possibilities as well as the difficulties of current technologies.

scientific basis of study

The study is based on the application of the Drake equation, formulated by astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake in 1961. The Drake equation is a formula that attempts to estimate the number of communicating extraterrestrial civilizations present in the Milky Way. Scientists use this model as the basis for their calculations.

The equation takes into account many factors, including the history of star formation in the Milky Way, the age of the stars, the amount of metal in the celestial bodies, and the likelihood that they could host Earth-like planets in the habitable zones. There habitable zone This represents a suitable distance from a star, neither too hot nor too cold, at which liquid water and life as we know it could potentially develop on the surface of a planet.

learning outcome

based on calculations made using copernican astrological limitScientists have estimated that Possibly 36 active and communicating intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way. It assumes that life evolved in the same way as it does on Earth and that the metal content of stars on these planets is similar to that of our Sun.

Another prominent belief is that these extraterrestrial civilizations are trying to make their presence known through some sort of signal. However, the distance presents a significant challenge. Scientists have calculated that the average distance between these possible civilizations would be approximately 17,000 light years, This means that detecting such signals or establishing communication using current technology would take so long that it would be nearly impossible.

according to some more optimistic assumptions based on weak copernican theorymay as well 928 civilizations currently communicating in our galaxy. In this case, it would only take 700 years for either of these civilizations to take over.

Another question of interest relates to the duration of extraterrestrial civilizations. Do other possible civilizations have a lifespan similar to that of Earth? According to scholars, if extraterrestrial life is discovered then nothing is known far and wide. 7,000 light years, it can have two meanings. First, it may suggest that these civilizations have a lifespan of less than 2,000 years, which would mean that our civilization is nearing its end. Second, it could mean that life on Earth is unique and evolved much more randomly than the Copernican astronomical limits established in the study.

activity of red dwarfs

It should be noted that the study did not consider all factors or limitations, such as the effects of radiation emitted by smaller stars. red dwarf, on planets located in the habitable zone. This is still a debatable issue among scientists. Red dwarfs are common in our galaxy and are known to host Earth-sized rocky planets. Therefore, scholars are also exploring other galaxies beyond the Milky Way to determine whether life might exist outside our galaxy’s boundaries.


Studies on the presence of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way provide interesting insights into the possibility of life outside our planet. While calculations suggest that there may be many active and communicating extraterrestrial civilizations, current spatial distances and technological limitations make it extremely difficult to establish contact or detect signals from such civilizations. This area of ​​research continues to fascinate scientists and provides a comprehensive perspective on the diversity and complexity of the universe around us.


  • Drake, F. (1961). “Radio Search for Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life.” In Perspectives in Modern Physics (Essays in Honor of Hans A. Bethe on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday), edited by RE Marshall, JA White and AG Petschek, 93–109. New York, John Wiley and Sons.
  • Wright, J.T., Kanodia, S., Luber, E., et al. (2020). “Astrobiological Copernican Weak and Strong Limits for Intelligent Life.” The Astrophysical Journal, 886(1), 37.

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