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Life beyond Earth 'inevitable' claims expert


Posted on Thursday, 7 August, 2014 | Comment icon 26 comments

Are we on the verge of the most groundbreaking discovery in history ? Image Credit: PHL/UPR Arecibo/NASA
Dr Sara Seager believes that astronomers are standing on a 'great threshold' of space exploration.
Dr Seager, who is a Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes that there is a reasonable chance we will discover evidence of extraterrestrial life within as little as 20 years.

"We can say with certainty that, for the first time in human history, we are finally on the verge of being able to search for signs of life beyond our solar system around the nearest hundreds of stars," she said.

Recent advances in extrasolar planet detection have also revealed that terrestrial worlds like our own are likely to be extremely common throughout the cosmos, providing an even greater likelihood that we will find one with a habitable Earth-like environment.

"Our own galaxy has 100bn stars and our universe has upwards of 100bn galaxies - making the chance for life elsewhere seem inevitable based on sheer probability," said Dr Seager.

With powerful planet hunting telescopes such as NASA's James Webb Space Telescope due to be launched within as little as 4 years, the chances are good that Seager's prediction of discovering signs of extraterrestrial life within the next two decades might actually become a reality.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (26)

Tags: Extraterrestrial, Life

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by Rafterman on 7 August, 2014, 17:33
But what would we consider 'proof' if we cannot visit or contact any planet for thousands of years? We would simply say that life existed there at some point. The future generations of scientists can take it from there.
Comment icon #18 Posted by CRYSiiSx2 on 7 August, 2014, 23:52
We haven't found a planet outside of our galaxy. It would be impossible to see anything inside our galaxy at the time it was before earth, as the galaxy is only 100,000 ly across...
Comment icon #19 Posted by Ugly1 on 7 August, 2014, 23:56
Well no duh life is out there. I mean, really? I just don't understand how some people are so gullible to think that we are the only life in this universe, dimension, or any theory that you agree is more plausible than the other. I just think that it is so sad that some people are limiting the amount that they can expand their mind and just think outside of the box because they hold to a specific dogma. I have Jesus as my savior, and I love god. I really don't think too much into it other than trying my best to live by his teachings. With that said, some of the people I talk to from the "same ... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 8 August, 2014, 2:29
Well no duh life is out there. I mean, really? I just don't understand how some people are so gullible to think that we are the only life in this universe, dimension, or any theory that you agree is more plausible than the other. I just think that it is so sad that some people are limiting the amount that they can expand their mind and just think outside of the box because they hold to a specific dogma. I have Jesus as my savior, and I love god. I really don't think too much into it other than trying my best to live by his teachings. With that said, some of the people I talk to from the "same ... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by joc on 8 August, 2014, 2:35
There are trillions of galaxies...the Universe is Infinite...Life isn't...it exists...here and there...and is always leaving Here and being propelled There...it might take 150 million years before the spores of Exhibit A Life Form hit the Earth as a Meteorite... Closed minds are like closed caskets....figure that one out...lol
Comment icon #22 Posted by DONTEATUS on 8 August, 2014, 3:31
To Look and not Open ones eyes,mind and Soul, Is not to of Looked at All.
Comment icon #23 Posted by StRoostifer on 8 August, 2014, 3:46
Joc and Donteatus, wise words! Life is about learning but we stop learning when we think we know the answers. Best to keep an open mind and continue learning.
Comment icon #24 Posted by lost_shaman on 8 August, 2014, 5:32
The problem with telescopes is .... they can see millions/billions of years BACK in time....so they wont be finding life in 'real time'... Well, we are only looking at Exo-planets in the Milkyway... so only about 70,000 years ago for the furthest away from us not Billions of years ago.
Comment icon #25 Posted by MrBene on 8 August, 2014, 5:42
The problem with telescopes is .... they can see millions/billions of years BACK in time....so they wont be finding life in 'real time'... This is something that I forgot everytime I look at the sky. Amazing and breath taking.
Comment icon #26 Posted by skookum on 8 August, 2014, 14:00
Well, we are only looking at Exo-planets in the Milkyway... so only about 70,000 years ago for the furthest away from us not Billions of years ago. Still a darn long time ago when you compare it to mankind. Modern attributes seem to only date back 50,000 years.


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