‘Are we alone in the universe?’ is a decades-old question that has popped back up in our minds now that NASA has discovered 'Earth's bigger, older cousin’.
With Russian billionaire and philanthropist Yuri Milner’s recent decision to pump US$100 million into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), the chances of stumbling across a message from an alien civilization may no longer improbable.
According to TIME, the pyramids of Egypt could be a key reason an alien civilization would want to send messages.
“A sufficiently advanced technology, even many light years away, could in principle have deduced that there is intelligent life on Earth, for example, by imaging the pyramids of Egypt,” the American magazine states.
However, some of SETI’s astronomers ruled out the possibility that aliens can reach us so easily, unless “they were located within a few dozens light years of Earth because that is as far as our own radio signals have traveled.”
Eventually, figuring out if other civilizations exist or not will still be the luck of the draw. But the pursuit itself is part of our human nature echoing our love of inquisitiveness and adventure.
As Frank Drake, the astronomer who set off on a SETI quest on a shoestring budget in 1960, expresses it, “SETI is really a search for ourselves who we and how we fit into the great cosmic scheme of things.”