Humanity may be as few as 10 years away from discovering evidence of extraterrestrial life. Once we do, it will only deepen the mystery of where alien intelligence might be hiding.
Tagged with “seti” (6)
We are one tool away from learning which distant planets already have life on them and which might be welcoming to life.
MIT Planetary Scientist Sara Seager is working on the tool. She is chair of the NASA team developing a “Starshade” that would allow a relatively rudimentary space telescope to observe Earth-size planets directly, which would yield atmospheric analysis, which would determine a planet’s life-worthiness.
Despite 1,000-plus exoplanet discoveries by the Kepler spacecraft and the hundreds more expected from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite after 2017, neither instrument can make detailed observation of the atmosphere of small rocky planets, because each star’s brilliance overwhelms direct study of the rocky motes that might harbor life. A Starshade cures that.
A former MacArthur Fellow, Seager is author of Exoplanet Atmospheres (02010) and an astrophysics professor at MIT. Her maxim: “For exoplanets, anything is possible under the laws of physics and chemistry.”
As senior astronomer of the S.E.T.I. Institute in California tells Dick he has no doubt life exists in other parts of the universe, and believes scientists are getting closer to finding it â itâs just a matter of time.
They’re heeeere! Yes, aliens are wreaking havoc and destruction throughout the land. But these aliens are Arizona beetles, and the land is in California, where the invasive insects are a serious problem.
And what of space-faring aliens? We have those too: how to find them, and how to protect our planet – and theirs.
From Hollywood to SETI’s hi-tech search for extraterrestrials, aliens are invading Are We Alone?
- Paul Davies – Physicist and author of The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence
- Frank Drake- Senior Scientist, SETI Institute
- Andy Ihnatko – Journalist and tech blogger
- Margaret Race – Biologist and Principal Investigator at the SETI Institute
- Margaret McLean – Director of bioethics at the Markkula Center for Ethics, Santa Clara University
- Mark Hoddle – Biological Control Specialist at the University of California, Riverside
- Vanessa Lopez – Graduate student in entomology, University of California, Riverside
The acclaimed British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist Paul Davies is the director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and co-director of the Cosmology Initiative, both at Arizona State University. He is also a member of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence’s (SETI) post-detection committee. Among his numerous scientific distinctions, Davies is a recipient of the prestigious Templeton Prize for his work on science and religion. His writings include the bestsellers The Mind of God, About Time, How to Build a Time Machine, The Fifth Miracle, and The Goldilocks Enigma. In his provocative new book, Davies challenges existing ideas of what form an alien intelligence might take, how it might try to communicate with us, and how we should respond if we ever do make contact. Free Library Festival (recorded 4/17/2010)
A new warning from astrophysicist and global science guru Stephen Hawking: Do not talk to aliens.
The brilliant Hawking is wheel-chair bound and speaks through a computer. But he’s thinking about the cosmos.
With billions of galaxies, trillions of stars, the numbers tell him there’s life out there. The smartest forms could make it here. But we should not want that, says Hawking. Too much danger.
Other scientists disagree. We’ll hear that debate, and talk to the man who heads Earth’s greeting committee for aliens.