viernes, 23 de mayo de 2014

SETI: 'we'll find alien life within 20 years'

SETI's Seth Shostak. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 BDEngler

Dan Werthimer and Seth Shostak presented their latest findings this week at a House Committee hearing. With money an ongoing issue for the SETI Institute, the two astronomers made the case for further investment in the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence and emphasized that with enough funding it may be possible to find the first signs of alien life within just two decades.

 "In the last fifty years, evidence has steadily mounted that the components and conditions we believe necessary for life are common and perhaps ubiquitous in our galaxy," Werthimer wrote. "There may even be primitive extraterrestrial life in our own solar system, perhaps on a moon of Jupiter or Saturn.

 Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, is thought to have a liquid water ocean beneath its icy surface, perhaps a good environment for life as we know it." While both men agreed that no evidence has yet been found for life outside for Earth, they contended that the sheer number of viable planets in our own galaxy alone indicates the likelihood that the universe is probably teeming with life. "We are just now developing the tools and technologies that might detect distant civilizations," they said.

"There could be radio or laser signals from extraterrestrial civilizations reaching our planet right now, but we would most likely not detect these signals with these early SETI projects."

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