Are we alone in the universe?


Are we alone in the universe? Despite numerous reports and a vast scientific community devoted to the search, there is still no conclusive evidence. So what are the odds that we are alone?

Michio Kaku

“Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

~ Michio Kaku

The Drake Equation

The Drake Equation is a mathematical formula used to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy with which we might be able to communicate. The equation was proposed by astronomer Frank Drake in the 1960s and is based on several factors, including the rate of star formation, the fraction of stars with planets, the number of planets capable of supporting life, the fraction of those that actually develop life, and the fraction of those that develop civilizations capable of communicating.

The Drake Equation
The Drake Equation

The Formula

N = R* × fp × ne × fl × fi × fc × L

  • N is the number of civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy with which we might be able to communicate.
  • R* is the rate of star formation in the Milky Way galaxy.
  • fp is the fraction of stars with planets.
  • ne is the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets.
  • fl is the fraction of those planets that actually develop life.
  • fi is the fraction of those planets with life that develop intelligent life.
  • fc is the fraction of civilizations with intelligent life that are capable of communicating with us.
  • L is the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space.

The Drake equation provides a framework for considering the factors that might influence the likelihood of extraterrestrial life. Still, its result is highly uncertain and dependent on the values assigned to each variable. The equation remains a subject of much debate and speculation among scientists and the public. However, it gives us a baseline for starting the conversation.

Even the most conservative inputs into this formula will give you a relatively large number of civilizations in our galaxy. You could replace the last part of the equation with G= The total amount of galaxies in the observable universe to get a total of actual civilizations out there. Just because they are too far away for us to have detected their signals doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Then again, if they are too far away for us to communicate with, then their existence wouldn’t matter as much to us right now.

Arecibo Observatory

The Arecibo Observatory is a large radio telescope that was used for a wide range of astronomical observations and studies, including radio astronomy, atmospheric science, and radar astronomy. It was one of the largest and most sensitive radio telescopes in the world and was used for many important discoveries, including the first detections of binary pulsars and the first evidence of planetary systems around other stars. However, the observatory suffered significant damage in recent years and has since been decommissioned.

The message

Arecibo message - are we alone?

In 1974, we sent our first “SOS” to the globular cluster, Messier 13. It wasn’t a serious message but a demonstration of the upgraded telescope’s capabilities. The message was made by Frank Drake, whom I discussed earlier. Carl Sagan helped him, along with many others, to craft the message. The message contained 1,679 bits of data and was sent out one time. It would look like this if correctly translated into an image.

The message was meant to showcase our technology here on Earth. It demonstrates our knowledge of the periodic table, advanced maths, and DNA structures. This simple message will miss its target when it reaches its destination, as it will have moved but will still hit near the center of Messier 13.

It’s a real shot in the dark, but it was the beginning of our attempts to actively communicate our presence to extraterrestrial beings if they happen to be listening.


SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, a scientific effort to detect and analyze signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. It has come to encompass many fields of research that draw on the skills of astronomers, engineers, and computer scientists, among others.

SETI projects have traditionally been conducted through the use of radio telescopes, which scan the sky for signals that might be of extraterrestrial origin. The idea is that advanced civilizations might transmit signals in an attempt to communicate with other civilizations in the universe, just as we have begun doing. SETI researchers analyze the data collected by radio telescopes, looking for patterns or anomalies that might indicate the presence of a deliberate transmission.

SETI is still a relatively young field, and there have been no confirmed detections of extraterrestrial intelligence. There have been many signals within narrow radio bans that could indicate a signal transmitted by an intelligent civilization. Still, most have been disregarded by evidence to the contrary. The signals have been easy to find. The tricky part is proving where the signals are coming from. However, the search continues.

While astronomers do their usual work, SETI researchers have been working behind the scenes, using astronomers’ data to search for any peculiarities. With the launch of new space telescopes and the discovery of numerous exoplanets, SETI’s own array of listening telescopes will be able to focus their search on specific areas.

Eye Witnesses

There have been documented eyewitness accounts of UFOs for over 100 years now. According to some estimates, thousands of UFO sightings are reported yearly in the United States alone. People report seeing all sorts of strange objects in the sky, from lights and balls of fire to more structured craft with geometric shapes.

However, most UFO sightings can be explained by natural phenomena, meteorites, weather patterns, or human-made objects like aircraft or drones. Despite the lack of concrete evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life, the idea of aliens and UFO sightings continue to be a source of fascination for many people.


These are just some examples of encounters over the last 100 years. I know there are more than this, and I may revisit this page and add more later, as these sightings fascinate me.

  1. In 1955, two families in Kelly, Kentucky, claimed to have been visited by tiny, gray aliens with large eyes. The encounter lasted for several hours and generated massive media attention.
  2. On February 21st, 1973, in Piedmont, Missouri, a local boys’ basketball team was returning home from a basketball game in Dexter, Missouri, when they saw a silent craft hovering above a field. This set off a media frenzy that lasted for several years.
  3. In 1980, two U.S. Air Force officers claimed they had seen a UFO in the Rendlesham Forest in England. They described the object as having strange symbols on it and said that it was emitting beams of light.
  4. The Phoenix Lights in 1997, where thousands of people in Phoenix, Arizona, reported seeing a massive, V-shaped formation of lights in the night sky. Some people claimed that the lights were a UFO and that they saw aliens inside.
  5. The Delphos ring: In 2005, witnesses took video of a strange ring-shaped object hovering in the sky in Delphos, Kansas. Many people claimed that the thing was a UFO and that aliens controlled it.

Stay Skeptical

While UFO sightings can be intriguing and generate much public interest, it’s essential to approach them with a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking. The idea of aliens and extraterrestrial life is an interesting one. Still, we must base our beliefs on scientific evidence and solid research rather than unverified claims or sensational headlines.

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