NASA scientist warns that 'extremely tiny' alien visitors could have been too small for us to spot
A NASA scientist says intelligent aliens may have already visited Earth - but claims humans would not have noticed due to their 'extremely tiny' size.
Silvano P. Colombano says the extra-terrestrials would have looked hugely different to the carbon-based organisms currently roaming our planet.
He says that 'super intelligent' aliens would posses technology that humans cannot even imagine, and may have capable of interstellar space-travel.
It comes as NASA scans the universe for civilisations as prat of its 'Search for extraterrestrial intelligence' (SETI) programme.
Silvano P. Colombano, who works in NASA's Intelligent Systems Division, believes we could have missed alien life,as it could be very different from the traditional carbon based life humanity is used to. Pictured, a classic 'flying saucer.
Dr Colombano told Califoria's SETI-backed Decoding Alien Intelligence Workshop back in March that scientists need to broaden their idea of what an extra-terrestrial would like like.
'I simply want to point out the fact that the intelligence we might find and that might choose to find us (if it hasn't already) might not be at all be produced by carbon based organisms like us,' his report read.
He added that scientists must 're-visit even our most cherished assumptions', which has implications for everything from an alien's lifespan to its height.
'The size of the 'explorer' might be that of an extremely tiny super-intelligent entity,' he says.
He believes scientists are too focused on pursuing signs of modern human technology on other planets.
This could mean missing signals of a civilisation inhabiting a planet far older than Earth, Dr Colombano argues.
Our inability to comprehend how such a planet would look might even mean that we miss any signs of its existence.
A pair of Australian radio telescopes pointed at the same spot in the sky have revealed new clues on the nature of mysterious signals known as fast radio bursts. The ASKAP managed to detect several fast radio bursts during its observation (artist's impression). However, one expert warned that radio waves could be out of date.
He said: 'Considering further that technological development in our civilisation started only about 10K years ago and has seen the rise of scientific methodologies only in the past 500 years, we can surmise that we might have a real problem in predicting technological evolution even for the next thousand years, let alone 6 Million times that amount!'
He also warned that fast radio bursts currently being analysed could be out of date and called for 'speculative physics' grounded in solid theories but 'with some willingness to stretch possibilities as to the nature of space-time and energy' and to 'consider the UFO phenomenon worthy of study'.
The space expert also claimed not every UFO sighting can be 'explained or denied'.
WHAT ARE FAST RADIO BURSTS AND WHY DO WE STUDY THEM?
Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are radio emissions that appear temporarily and randomly, making them not only hard to find, but also hard to study.
The mystery stems from the fact it is not known what could produce such a short and sharp burst.
This has led some to speculate they could be anything from stars colliding to artificially created messages.
Scientists searching for fast radio bursts (FRBs) that some believe may be signals sent from aliens may be happening every second. The blue points in this artist's impression of the filamentary structure of galaxies are signals from FRBs
The first FRB was spotted, or rather 'heard' by radio telescopes, back in 2001 but wasn't discovered until 2007 when scientists were analysing archival data.
But it was so temporary and seemingly random that it took years for astronomers to agree it wasn't a glitch in one of the telescope's instruments.
Researchers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics point out that FRBs can be used to study the structure and evolution of the universe whether or not their origin is fully understood.
A large population of faraway FRBs could act as probes of material across gigantic distances.
This intervening material blurs the signal from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the left over radiation from the Big Bang.
A careful study of this intervening material should give an improved understanding of basic cosmic constituents, such as the relative amounts of ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy, which affect how rapidly the universe is expanding.
FRBs can also be used to trace what broke down the 'fog' of hydrogen atoms that pervaded the early universe into free electrons and protons, when temperatures cooled down after the Big Bang.
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