Why ET hasn't phoned us yet
Thursday 21 January 1999
However, aliens could now be on their way as the galactic weather has improved in the past few billion years, says Dr James Annis, an astrophysicist at the Fermilab, in Chicago.
Though the idea put forward by Dr Annis in today's New Scientist may sound fanciful, it does explain something that has mystified astronomers for decades. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 10 billion years old and only about 100,000 light years across. Logically, any spacefaring race able to travel even at just one-thousandth of the speed of light would pervade the galaxy in just 100,000 years.
But repeated searches for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence have all failed. That, Dr Annis suggests,could be because although life may have arisen all over the galaxy in the past, it kept being wiped out by intense radiation from "gamma ray bursters" caused by the collision of superdense stars whose radiation could sterilise an entire planet in moments.
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...