Researchers: 361 to 38,000 Intelligent Civilizations in our Galaxy

Posted on February 5, 2009

The BBC reports that report in the International Journal of Astrobiology estimates the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy is somewhere between 361 and 38,000. The researchers think there are at least 361 intelligent civizations but there could be as many as 38,000.

The current research estimates that there are at least 361 intelligent civilisations in our Galaxy and possibly as many as 38,000.

The work is reported in the International Journal of Astrobiology. Even with the higher of the two estimates, however, it is not very likely that contact could be established with alien worlds.

While researchers often come up with overall estimates of the likelihood of intelligent life in the universe, it is a process fraught with guesswork; recent guesses put the number anywhere between a million and less than one.

"It's a process of quantifying our ignorance," said Duncan Forgan, the University of Edinburgh researcher who carried out the work.

It's quite a wide range. It may not be very easy to identify intelligent life because it could be very different from human life. The head of the research team, Duncan Forgan, said, "Even if alien life forms do exist, we may not necessarily be able to make contact with them, and we have no idea what form they would take."

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