NASA launched their ‘Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence’ (SETI) project in this 1960s, however, in the decades since, despite high hopes, they have found not even a whisper. This however, the agency believes is about to change.
At a conference on the issue of extraterrestrial life yesterday, NASA several scientists stated their belief that humanity will begin to find the first traces of alien life “within the next 20 years”. This they believe will be triggered by new imaging platforms planned to be sent into space in the coming years.
New telescopes are coming, which are an order of magnitude more powerful than their predecessors.
A series of new telescopes are being sent into orbit, including the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite and the James Webb Telescope, which are an order of magnitude more powerful than their predecessors. While previous telescopes have been able to detect hundreds of planets outside of our Solar System, and even detect atmospheres, these new platforms will also give scientists come clue as to the chemical makeup of these planets.
From this information, scientists will be able to detect and identify the elemental makeup of the atmosphere. With this, they are able to search for compounds such as methane and oxygen which are key indicators of life. Due to their short breakdown times, their existence proves that there is something on a planet actively replenishing them into the air, and outside of the off volcanic eruption, the primary explanation for this is alien life.
While this is very optimistic, we have nonetheless heard this all before. For years we have been told that the discovery of alien life is just around the corner, but yet, as the years continue to go by, nothing has been found. By all means, hope for the best with this latest attempt, but don’t start planning on meeting ET any time soon.
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