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Glossary term: Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Description: Going by the available evidence, the necessary conditions for the emergence of life on Earth – a solid planet, at a distance from its Sun where liquid water can exist on the planet's surface, atoms like carbon and oxygen, and the conditions to form more complex molecules – should exist on numerous other planets within our galaxy, and beyond. It is not an unreasonable assumption that intelligent life might have arisen at least on some of those planets, although we have no solid basis for estimating the probability of that happening. Some astronomers have used radio signals to search for putative messages as part of a Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The speed of light as a fundamental physical limit means that aliens will not be able to simply visit us, though, or we them.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval

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