It was a monumental day in history. A victory for new age space technology, a triumph in the pursuit of knowledge, and a day that elicited the well-known words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” On July 20th, 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon. Since that day, we’ve come great lengths in our space technology and have reached places far beyond the moon.
In 2014, NASA’s ‘Voyager One’ left our solar system to enter interstellar space, giving us the ability to view our Copernican planets from an outside perspective. This “outside perspective,” once again, raised the questions: Are we the only ones out here? Could there be any sentient life forms in the vastness of countless ever-expanding universes?
It would seem inevitable, right? How could we claim to be the only intelligent lifeforms in the countless numbers of galaxies? That’s some unhealthy narcissism.
There have, indeed, been some assertions that Earth has already been in contact with aliens. There were major UFO sightings in the latter parts of the 1900’s that even contained photographs to help validate their claim. Then, of course, there are the “abduction” cases where people claim to have actually been taken by UFO’s, undergoing various alien experiments before being let go.
Whatever your position on this well-circulated query is, there are, undoubtedly, many ways that we have made our existence known to the expanding universes.
In the last 250 years our world has gotten louder — made so by the inventions and elaborations on devices like television, radio, and cell phones. These devices take in “radio waves” or electrical currents that can be translated into vibrations to create distinguishable sound waves. We project and observe these electromagnetic waves in space through radio technology like antennas, transmitters, and radio telescopes. With consistent radio waves being broadcast into space, it is likely that our noise has been detected.
There are even some accounts that prove we may have been heard.
In November of 1977, in what is called “The Southern Television Interruption” a static voiceover occurred during a British television show. The audio delivered by the voice stated that it was a message from an intergalactic space station with a warning that humans needed to get rid of all their weapons of harm and learn to live together in peace in order to enter a new age of existence. Though this instance was later discredited as a hoax, there is still speculation that this was, indeed, a message from the cosmos.
More scientifically, there has been recent observations of a strong supply of radio bursts in the center of the galaxy.
Though the cause for these waves could be a result of collisions amongst stars, there is speculation that these could be extraterrestrial life forms trying to make contact on our electromagnetic terms.
The question of whether we are the only intelligent beings out there will always be present in the list of big inquiries mankind has. It is one of life’s greatest questions and will not be disregarded until we have found our answer.
And, seeing how much more man has to explore in space, this question may not ever be discounted until we have found these other life forms — or, before they find us.
Kena DeLong is a writer from Santa Cruz, California. She is currently a sophomore at San Francisco State studying journalism and political science.