Above: A false-color image of the mid-infrared emission from the Great Galaxy in Andromeda, as seen by Nasa’s WISE space telescope. The orange color represents emission from the heat of stars forming in the galaxy’s spiral arms. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
Researchers from Penn State University scanned 100,000 galaxies and came up empty on finding any obvious signs of advanced civilizations.
The G-HAT team used images such as the above to search the nearby galaxies for unusually large amounts of this mid-infrared emission that might arise from alien civilizations.
Using observations from NASA’s WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in galaxies.
Jason T. Wright, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State University, who conceived of and initiated the research, said:
“The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths — exactly the radiation that the WISE satellite was designed to detect for other astronomical purposes.
Whether an advanced spacefaring civilization uses the large amounts of energy from its galaxy’s stars to power computers, space flight, communication, or something we can’t yet imagine, fundamental thermodynamics tells us that this energy must be radiated away as heat in the mid-infrared wavelengths. This same basic physics causes your computer to radiate heat while it is turned on.”
source Penn State University