#AskSpace: Will we ever find intelligent alien life?

#AskSpace: Will we ever find intelligent alien life?
By Jeremy Wilks
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Will we ever find intelligent alien life out there? Where should we look for extraterrestrials in our galaxy? We put those questions to SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak in #AskSpace


Petro Brits would like to know if we will ever find any real evidence of alien life out there? We put that question to one of the world's foremost authorities on the subject, SETI Institute Senior Astronomer Seth Shostak.

"I think that we most definitely will," he tells Euronews. "The reason is A - I think that it is out there. There are a million, million planets just in our galaxy, in the Milky Way. That's an awful lot of real estate, so it's hard to believe that only this planet has life. And the only real question is B, Can we find it? And we might find it nearby. NASA, the European Space Agency, they're all spending your tax dollars to look for life in places like Mars, some of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn. Maybe within 20 years they'll find it; probably it's life you need a microscope to see. We're looking for intelligent life. I've bet everybody a cup of coffee that we'll find life by 2025. Intelligent life."

Is there a specific direction to look in when searching for aliens?

Dan Alex contacted Euronews with a follow-up question - is there a specific direction we should look to find alien life forms?

"I spend many nights tossing and turning in my bed, thinking about this problem," answers Shostak. "Where should we aim the antennas, where are the aliens hanging out? And if you ask yourself, if we were really an advanced society, what would we do? Would we just stay on our planet with oceans and land, all the problems that we have on our own planet. Would we expand out into space, and if so where would we go? And maybe that's where they've gone."

"One obvious place is the centre of the Milky Way. If you're a very advanced society, and in fact if you've moved beyond biology - and you know, advanced aliens are probably not biological, they are probably machines of some sort- then they could travel any distance. If you're a machine it doesn't matter if it takes long time to go anywhere, right? And maybe they're in the centre of the galaxy because in the centre of the galaxy there's an enormous source of energy, there's a giant black hole there, there are lot of stars, there's a lot of stuff. There's a lot of stuff, there's a lot of energy, that seems like one place you should aim the antennas, and we occasionally do."

Send your questions about space exploration and science to Euronews via social media using the #AskSpace hashtag, and we'll do our best to answer them.

Journalist • Jeremy Wilks

Additional sources • SETI Institute

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