Was our solar system once home to an advanced civilization that predated humanity by hundreds of millions of years? And we don’t mean humans! While there is no evidence for a pre-human indigenous technological species, people have been speculating about it since ancient times. Now, one space scientist is pointing out that the existence of intelligent space aliens on Earth hasn’t been ruled out either. One so thoroughly wiped out by a comet strike that nearly all evidence of its existence vanished, never to be found again?
If a race of smart aliens did make their home in our solar system, there could be traces of evidence we simply haven’t discovered yet, Penn State astrophysicist Dr. Jason T. Wright notes in his paper “Prior Indigenous Technological Species.” Of course, Wright is not suggesting we’ll find any alien fossils. Instead, he’s talking about “techno-signatures,” a term encompassing a broad range of possible artifacts.
Wright argues that if a prior indigenous technological species did exist, it might have developed on Earth of pre-greenhouse Venus—or even Mars. With surface erosion and shifting tectonic plates on Earth, any evidence on our planet would have been lost long ago. And any artifacts left on Venus probably would have been destroyed by the planet’s atmosphere.
If the beings did make it to Mars, however, Wright believes they might still exist. Though he argues “it is unlikely that artifacts might be obvious from space imagery, or even from the sort of shallow probing performed by the various Martian rovers.” Any signatures would be buried deep under the surface.
Other places to look for techno-signatures would be our moon and the rocky moons and asteroids of the outer solar system. There might even be “large structures flee-floating in space.”
Not all experts are as enthusiastic about this proposal as Wright.
“If I had to guess, I’d say it’s highly unlikely, but not impossible, that an ancient civilization existed—probably even more unlikely we’ll ever find evidence,” Dr. Paul Horowitz, a research professor of physics at Harvard University commented.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson called the ideas “intriguing” but added that finding answers would “require substantial upticks in our space exploration budgets.”