Intelligent aliens may never escape their planet.  Why?

We live on a planet where 29.2 percent is land, and 70.8 percent is occupied by oceans. Our evolution began in water and now continues on landThat's why we are the “civilization of the Earth.” However, as scientists note, space is incredibly diverse, so it can be expected that somewhere in the depths of the universe there are intelligent life forms that develop only in the oceans. Will creatures evolving on similar worlds, where conditions differ from those we know, be able to develop technologies that allow space travel?

Scientists analyzed the possibilities for the development of other civilizations and the factors that would control their ability to explore space. It was the basis for further analyses Drake equationAllowing us to determine how many technologically advanced civilizations may exist in our galaxy and in space. Here you can find variables such as the rate of star formation, the number of planets surrounding them, and the percentage of planets in the habitable zone where life could develop.

During previous research, it turned out to be in the pessimistic variant There may be as many as 200 billion planets in space hosting alien life. There are supposed to be 5 million intelligent civilizations in the universe, and 250 thousand. Some of them are very developed – they are able to visit the Blue Planet in a physical way.

In the new analyses, scientists introduce two new concepts aimed at improving the Drake equation: Exoplanet Escape Factor (Fex) And Aquarium Worlds. The first factor refers to the ability of a civilization to ascend into space, and the second to the existence of planets that, due to their special conditions, will “stop forever” the development of a given civilization.

Escape speed, or the second cosmic speed, is the minimum initial (starting) speed that a body (rocket) must reach in order to leave the gravitational field of a particular planet. In the case of Earth, it is 11.2 km/s. The escape velocity depends mainly on the mass of a particular celestial body, so the calculated escape velocity from the surface of Mars is 5 km/s, from the surface of the Moon 2.4 km/s, from the surface of Venus 10.4 km/s, and from the surface of Jupiter 59.5 km. /s, from Neptune 23.5 km/s, and from the surface of the Sun 617.5 km/s.

It should be noted that this speed applies to ballistic objects without propulsion. On Earth, when the planet's rotation is taken into account, the kinetic energy of motion can be used to reduce the take-off speed.

Researchers noticed this Super Earth They have much larger masses and therefore higher escape speeds. Therefore, an intelligent life form living on such a celestial body would have to deal with conditions different from those that humanity experiences on Earth – it would simply be difficult for it to go into space.

In the new research work, specialists, taking into account the above-mentioned factors, calculated the escape velocities of individual exoplanets discovered so far. For example, for planet Earth Kepler-100 cIts mass is 7.05 Earth masses, and its escape velocity is 6.95 km/s, while Proxima Centauri b It is 9.45 km/s. The star Proxima Centauri b is located in the habitable zone, and there is likely liquid water on its surface.

However, for many other exoplanets, escape velocities exceed these values ​​several times. Researchers believe that escaping from a planet with a Fex of at least 2.2 would be nearly impossible.

As the specialists wrote in their scientific article: “Fex values ​​> 2.2 will make Space travel for the exoplanet's inhabitants would be unbearable: they would not be able to leave the planet using any possible amount of fuelA real rocket structure would not withstand the stress involved in this process, at least with the materials we know (as far as we know, the entire universe obeys the same periodic table of elements and the same groups of elements).

They also add: “So it may be so Intelligent species living on these planets will never be able to travel into space due to absolute physical impossibility“.

At the same time, researchers are paying attention to the factors that govern the atmosphere (including its density). A spacecraft must control the level of friction and speed as it enters a given atmosphere – something more difficult for planets with greater mass.

The situation may also be different in the case of the “Water World”, where the ocean covers the entire planet. Researchers do not rule out the possibility of its appearance on such a planet Intelligent life form. Specialists point out that unsupported signals can be transmitted in water much farther than in air, up to hundreds of kilometres.

Scientists believe that in this environment: “…communication is possible between individuals without the need for communication devices.” This might suggest so There may never be a motivation to develop communications technologiesWhich is necessary for space travel. Such a civilization can also be considered a “non-communicative civilization”.

“Telecommunications technology may never appear in such a world, even if it is home to a fully developed civilization,” they add.

Another issue is the worlds where The entire planet is covered in dense clouds, through which you can never see the night sky. In such a situation, would any intelligent life form be able to imagine that there is something beyond it, and would it seek knowledge of the unknown? A similar problem applies to binary systems, where two stars constantly illuminate a particular exoplanet, and it never gets night here.

Another issue is Rise of civilization In the ocean under several kilometers of ice. Astronomers cannot currently determine whether intelligent life could have evolved in such unique conditions, but it cannot be completely ruled out.

new Fix factor It could help scientists imagine worlds where alien life could exist and identify conditions that would prevent space travel. Therefore, the researchers suggest that we may never know about the existence of hundreds or thousands of alien intelligent beings.

The research results were published in a prestigious scientific journal Journal of the British Planetary Society.

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