Scientists explain how extraterrestrials will make first contact with humanity

There are millions of stars gravitated by various planets. There are billions of planets in our galaxy, and some will certainly be able to support life as we know it. Therefore, it may be selfish of us to say that we are alone in the Universe. Based on this premise and the evolution of technology, some scientists already know what the first contact between extraterrestrials and humanity will be like.

Illustration of the face of an alien

The scientist director of the international committee on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence explains how the presentation of Earth to extraterrestrials will be. So let’s take a leap into the future.

The Secret of the Warp Engine

The year is 2063 and brilliant scientist Zefram Cochrane has just performed the first successful test flight of a Warp Motor, unlocking the seemingly impossible possibilities of faster-than-light travel.

The warp signature is detected by a nearby Vulcan ship, whose crew determines that humanity has finally matured enough for first contact. And that’s how – in the Star Trek universe – we become aware of the existence of aliens.

I do not think that such a scenario can be ruled out.

Any extraterrestrial civilization is likely to be significantly more advanced than we are. They can be camouflaged.

Said Prof. Michael Garrett , director of the Center for Astrophysics at Jodrell Bank and current chairman of the Standing Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (IAA SETI).

An artist’s impression of three types of habitable planets: one primarily earthy; a planet with a good mix of land and sea, like Earth; and an oceanic planet with almost no land. (Image credit: Europlanet 2024 RI/T. Roger.)

According to Garrett, our knowledge of intelligent extraterrestrial life is more likely to come from an observatory receiving an extraterrestrial signal than from the sudden arrival of a spacecraft.

In this scenario, organizations that have joined SETI have their own first contact protocol.

The first step is verification of the signal by an independent observatory.

He referred to Garrett, who explains that the discovery must be kept secret until a broader verification is carried out.

The government of the country discovering this event, and eventually the United Nations, must then be informed, with news of the contact announced to the public shortly afterwards. That, at least, is how it should be done.

Whether the protocol would actually be adopted I have some doubts. If the signal is rich in information, for example, I think that has far greater consequences than a signal that just points to an intelligent civilization out there somewhere.

It will have a value that will become understood by governments very quickly. At some level, scientists have to protect themselves. What is written in the protocols may not be what happens in practice.

These Garrett.


If we were contacted, how would we respond to extraterrestrials?

Depending on the nature of the alien signal, and whether we would even be able to understand or translate it, there is also the question of whether we would respond.

It is very difficult to stop people from transmitting signals into space. And if we had a really advanced civilization out there, maybe it wouldn’t take much to transmit a signal that they could detect.

We would no doubt have small groups of enthusiasts and amateurs who would send out signals. But what gives any group, individual or country the right to send messages on behalf of the entire planet?

This is where the involvement of the United Nations is important, although the United Nations does not currently have an opinion on this.

Explained the director of the Center for Astrophysics at Banco Jodrell.

In the Star Trek saga, the revelation that we are not alone, that intelligent life exists beyond the stars, leads to a profound change in the way the human race sees itself. It becomes more enlightened, more unified, and ultimately more motivated by exploitation than war or greed. However, it remains to be seen whether we would react in the same way.

I think a lot depends on the distance. If aliens are inside the Solar System then I think people will be worried. But if they’re on the other side of the Galaxy, I think people would be excited about that.

Some religious organizations may need to change their doctrines, but most religions are pretty good at accommodating things as they arise.

I would like to think that if we found another civilization out there, it would accelerate our own political, ethical, and moral maturity. But that’s the beauty of Star Trek – it gives you something to aspire to.

Concluded Michael Garrett.

On a planet with wars, contempt for life itself, with a pandemic still to be resolved and countries called super powers in conflict of interests, would this be a good time to be contacted by aliens?

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