Jill Layton
June 16, 2016 12:18 pm
Universal Pictures

Ever since humans discovered that Earth is a tiny spec of dust floating in a solar system, within a galaxy, within our UNIVERSE, it’s been pretty clear that we’re likely not the only form of living beings in existence. And because of our inexorable curiosity, humans have been searching for other life forms. As in, ALIENS.

Although it may seem like a completely far-fetched idea, researchers have just discovered that contacting aliens may not actually be implausible.

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a new equation to explain the Fermi Paradox, which suggests that because of the high probability of other Earth-like planets existing in the Milky Way (there are approximately 30 billion planets in our galaxy alone, according to the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge), we should have been able to make contact with the civilizations that live on them by now.

Warner Bros/Giphy

Astronomers Even Solomonides and Yervant Terzian combined the Fermi Paradox with the Mediocrity Principle — which states that Earth isn’t unique — and calculated that for signals from Earth to be picked up, decoded and answered by an advanced alien civilization, they would need to reach half of all the solar systems in the Milky Way — and that likely won’t happen for another 1,500 years.

“It’s possible to hear any time at all, but it becomes likely we will have heard around 1,500 years from now,” Solomonides noted in a press statement. “Until then, it is possible that we appear to be alone — even if we are not. But if we stop listening or looking, we may miss the signals. So we should keep looking.”

Since the 1960s, the SETI Insitute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has been trying to find aliens by detecting their radio signals. As of now, with no success.

So far, Earth’s radio broadcasts have reached every star within about 80 light-years of the sun, which equals to 8,531 stars and maybe even as many as 3,555 Earth-like planets.

“Even our mundane, typical spiral galaxy — not exceptionally large compared to other galaxies — is vast beyond imagination,” Solomonides said. “Those numbers are what make the Fermi Paradox so counterintuitive. We have reached so many stars and planets, surely we should have reached somebody by now, and in turn been reached… this demonstrates why we appear to be alone.”

The vastness could definitely be the reason why we haven’t received any signals from aliens. But it certainly doesn’t mean we won’t.