and no. We can send probes out of our solar system as we did with
Voyager I and II, and theoretically we can direct future probes toward
specific exoplanets, but alas.
The distances are so great, even for the nearest exoplanets, that we will all be long dead before they ever reach there.
How’s that I say? I mean, Proxima Centauri is only 4.2 light years away! That’s very close astronomically speaking, isn’t it?
I is the fastest of the two Voyagers. It travels about 3.6 AU per year,
one AU being the distance from Earth to Sun. Proxima Centauri, also
known as Alpha Centauri C, is about 268,770 AU. That would take a craft
traveling the speed of Voyager I about 74,658 years to reach Proxima
theoretically we could send a probe out there, and when it arrives it
could send a signal back to Earth. That signal would take 4.2 years to
reach Earth, but would be more than 74 thousand years from now. Who
knows if humanity will even still be here by then or if anyone will be
That’s just the nearest exoplanets. Others are much more distant than that.
The only aliens on Earth are the ones from other countries on Earth.
than that, we haven’t even found a fossil of a microbe of an alien from
another world and at present have no proof that life exists anywhere
else in the universe other than here (though we suspect there is life out there somewhere).
I do know the answer to this. It’s no, NASA has no evidence of alien
life to date. We only have theories and speculation, but without
evidence there is no proof of alien life anywhere else in the universe
other than good ol’ Earth.
being said, most scientist believe life probably exists elsewhere in
the universe, but until we actually find even a fossil of a microbe of
alien life, there’s no evidence to date.
You don’t understand cameras, do you? Well, a quick lesson then. In cameras (other than cell phone cameras), there’s a thing called aperture. When there’s a bright light the aperture has to be small, to let less light in, so you can photograph something like the Earth. This avoids overexposure of the bright objects in your photo. In space, this blacks out the stars.
However, if like the Hubble Telescope, you just look away from Earth at the stars, you see a whole lot more of them than we can see here on Earth.
Here’s a photo taken of the Hubble Telescope from the point of view of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Notice, because the Earth is so bright, we don’t see any stars.
On the other hand, since the Hubble Telescope points away from the bright light source coming from Earth, we can capture images like these.
If we discovered an alien civilization 50,000 light years away, we’d be looking at that civilization 50,000 years in the past, since that’s how long it took light and radio waves from there to reach us. They might not even be there by now. Will we still be here 50,000 years from now?
Also, it would create conspiracy theories. There would be those who say it was a hoax because it challenges the very idea that God created life on Earth alone. Discovering even a fossil of a microbe from another planet would be an enormous find for science in the age-old battle between science and religion.
It would revolutionize science, but from the average Joe on the street, it would mean nothing at all.
And that’s sad, but true.
So we would remain, as a species, not united as we are not united at present, and therefore we would remain without the ability, as a species, to come up with three top priorities. But if the scientists of the world came up with three priorities they might not be much different than they are now:
Great question! Complicated answer. Let’s start by looking Earthward at ourselves, then we’ll compare that looking spaceward toward the stars.
As you know, homosapiens are the advanced, intelligent life form on Earth which is now technologically advanced and space faring.
Now by some estimates, humans have been on this planet only for the last 200,000 years, or one fifth of one million years. There are a thousand million years in a billion years, and the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old. So, humans have been on Earth for only a tiny fraction of Earth’s existence. Here’s a graphic to illustrate that point and more to follow below.
This image illustrates what it would look like on a 24 hour clock comparing the age of Earth to the presence of humans. In fact, life itself has existed on Earth for less of half the lifespan of the planet, what to speak of humans.
So you can see, even though we have a planet in the goldilocks orbital region around our sun, someone looking at Earth many light years away would not see humans even though humans are here, because the light or radio waves haven’t reached them. They would assume this a dead planet. Humans have existed on this planet, in terms of a 24 hour clock, 1 minute and 17 seconds. In terms of exploring space, for less than 1 second.
You see, just because humans have been on Earth about 200,000 years doesn’t mean humans have been emitting radio waves and exploring space for all that time. In fact, we only began exploring space 60 years ago and emitting radio waves for a couple of hundred years. In the history of Earth, we have explored space (in terms of a 24 hour clock) for only a flash of a portion of a second.
That’s us. Now let’s look at the stars.
Let’s say there are 100,000 planets with advanced life like humans on them right now.
However, since the galaxy is 200,000 light years across, someone on a planet on the other side of the galaxy from us would not be visible to us. We’d see that as a planet with no human-like people because it would take light and radio waves 200,000 years to reach us. Now take into consideration that of the 100,000 planets with human-like people on them (as you suggest in your question), it took us 200,000 years to get to the point of emitting radio waves and exploring space. Hence, we’re looking for a very narrow window in a planet’s lifespan that intelligent life might be detected. Not only a tiny fraction of the planet’s existence has it had intelligent life, but only a tiny fraction of the time the intelligent life existed there were they able to emit radio waves and explore space, even if all conditions were favorable for that planet to eventually develop intelligent life.
Furthermore, the sky is very big. Looking for exoplanets, we have explored less than 3% of the total sky so far.
Put all of that together and the chance we would have detected other intelligent life is almost nil to date, even though it might still be out there somewhere. The guy below might be the exception.
This is a great question, but unfortunately no one will be able to give a definitive answer as to the chances.
This is simply because we do not yet know if life exists anywhere other than Earth. It is still within the realm of possibility that Earth is the only place where any kind of life, what to speak sentient life, exists.
Finding such life would be an affront to many religions that contend that God created life on Earth only, and therefore finding even a fossil of a microbe on another celestial body would be the holy grail of science and have reverberating effects throughout human society. The theory of evolution would be proven.
It is believed to be highly likely that life does exist elsewhere in the universe simply by the laws of probability, but that being said, we have found no evidence to support this theory.
So now we can come back to your original question: “What are the chances of two planets from the same solar system having sentient species that reach space exploration around the same time?” Based on the fact that life has not been discovered anywhere, the chances to sentient life forms existing in the same solar system is practically nil (but not impossible).
I don’t know the answer to your question. However, consider this. We are not standing still. In time the Earth rotates around it’s axis, the Earth also rotates around the sun, the sun rotates around the galactic center and the galaxy is merging with Andromeda.
We are therefore moving at hundreds of thousands of miles per hour in space. Fast forward 10 seconds and you will find yourself in outer-space without a spacesuit!