Aliens may be discovered within 20 years, US astronomers believe

Astronomers and space enthusiasts around the world have long been baffled by the question - is there life beyond Earth? Now, two of the United States' top astronomers are telling the public it is only a matter of 20 years.
Director Dan Werthimer of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and senior astronomer Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California in a meeting Wednesday with the science committee of the US House of Representatives opened the discussions by enumerating the efforts of space agencies and SETI in searching for other life forms in neighboring planets and galaxies. Over the past 50 years, multiple attempts have been made to look for signs of alien life beyond Earth. Now scientists have discovered billions of Earth-like planets within our own Milky Way galaxy alone – and they are located within a "habitable" zone suitable for life - Werthimer suggested, "The universe is likely to be teeming with primitive life." "Billions of these planets are Earth-sized and in the 'habitable' or so called 'Goldilocks' zone - not too distant from their host star (too cold), and not too close to their star (too hot). And there are billions of other galaxies outside our Milky Way galaxy - plenty of places where life could emerge and evolve," he said. "At least a half-dozen other worlds (besides Earth) that might have life are in our solar system," Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at SETI Institute, caonfirmed, adding. "The chances of finding it, I think, are good, and if that happens, it’ll happen in the next 20 years, depending on the financing." SETI programs, according to the institute, use the world's largest radio and optical telescopes to search for evidence of advanced civilizations and their technology on distant planets. NASA's Kepler space probe, which is expected to resume operations following the approval of the K2 mission, is even cited by the SETI astronomers as one of the major contributors to the quest. Werthimer said through Kepler's eyes, scientists were able to gaze at approximately two thousand of Milky Way Galaxy's planets and probably trillions of them are out there, outshining even the known number of stars. Werthimer and Shostak also bared new projects, such as the "eavesdropping SETI," in which they would use sophisticated tools to listen to two far-flung planets the moment they aligned to Earth in case their respective life forms plan to exchange messages through radio signals, and the Allen Telescope Array of small dishes situated in California. As noted by the Huffington Post, Werthimer also submitted written testimony to lawmakers, in which he noted that the search for intelligent life also deserved more funding from Congress. Source: The Voice of Russia

comments powered by Disqus