Scientist says interstellar travel might be possible without spaceships

Forget about spaceships: Aliens could be “cosmic hitchhikers” traveling on free-floating planets

While a warp drive almost certainly isn’t a thing that will ever exist, there’s no law of physics that says interstellar travel isn’t possible. Perhaps that is one reason why the sci-fi idea isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and why some scientists aren’t afraid to seriously contemplate how such a thing might work.

Enter a new research article in the International Journal of Astrobiology, in which author Irina Romanovskaya, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Houston Community College, proposes extraterrestrial civilizations could already be doing this in a peculiar way. Indeed, Romanovskaya says that interstellar travel would likely create technosignatures — such as radio waves, industrial pollution, light pollution, or anything that would suggest advanced technology is being used — when aliens engage in such travel.

Astronomers and astrophysicists have generally searched for extraterrestrial life by looking for biosignatures — such as water, oxygen or chlorophyll — on other planets. But interestingly, Romanovskaya proposes that interstellar travel might be happening via free-floating planets, not spaceships, like we see in the movies.


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