The challenges of astronomical research are to understand the large-scale structure of the Universe (to discover what dark matter and dark energy are) and to answer the question of whether we are alone in it.
No alien civilizations are traveling to Earth
Juan Antonio Belmonte spoke yesterday at the Science Museum on “Astronomy: a twenty thousand-year-old tradition” as part of the IV cycle of Caja Burgos of scientific dissemination and reflection on the gravity that the celestial dome makes the human being.
What do we look for in the stars?
The sky has regular patterns and repeats them. In a world as complex as ours and in ancient societies where death can occur at any time due to illness or for any other reason, to be able to realize something that repeats and renews itself is already great.
The sun rises every morning, sets in the evening, and rises with no regrets the next morning.
Is looking at the sky a humble cure for humans?
Today it is more so than in the past when people believed themselves to be the center of the Universe.
We now know that we live on a planet orbiting an ordinary star, in which there are hundreds of thousands of stars in the galaxy, in a galaxy that looks like hundreds of thousands of galaxies in a Universe. The pillar is continuously expanding.
Are there other worlds that have our type of civilization?
It is more complicated. A civilization as old as ours is 150 years old, as a technological civilization. Keep in mind that the first Marconi broadcasts date back to the end of the 19th century.
Imagine what a hundred years are in a 13 billion-year-old universe. We see that there is life outside the solar system. Understand life, for example, by pointing a giant telescope at the planet and discovering that there is ozone in the atmosphere. And if there is ozone, there is some kind of life on this planet.
Do you believe that aliens visit Earth?
It doesn’t exist, it’s an urban legend. Interstellar travel is complicated. Is there a probability that civilization has evolved enough to visit a lost place in a galaxy where we are at this moment as a civilization, no? And if so, do you think they would not make themselves known?
And if so, do you think they would not make themselves known? When the conquistadors came to America, did they hide from the natives? If Darwin’s laws of evolution were followed, they would come here to exploit us. I mean, no visits from alien civilizations.
There is a growing interest in UFO sightings. Mysteries cling, but cannot be trusted. It is ridiculous to think that the moai on Easter Island were built by aliens, why couldn’t they have been built by humans? The same goes for the pyramids.
Do you think space research is meeting the expectations of astronomical knowledge?
We are moving very fast. Just fifteen years ago, we didn’t know there were planets outside the solar system. Now we know more than three hundred. The problem is that the more we advance, the more questions arise.
Is astronomy an alternative to religion?
Those are two different things. Some astronomers believe, although the number is very small. Another thing is that astronomy is a generator of metaphysics. When man understood what the sun was, he stopped worshipping it as a god.