NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC– Earthlings could make contact with extraterrestrial beings by the year 2025, two astronomers predict in a new book.
The authors say it’s unlikely space aliens look like Hollywood’s ET—little, green, and hairless—and that while aliens are highly unlikely to pay Earth a visit, they may be sending radio signals across space to let us know they exist.
The book, Cosmic Company, “is an explication of why we think they’re out there, how we’re looking for them, what they must be like, and a little bit of what it might mean” to find life on other planets, said co-author Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) in Mountain View, California.
The institute conducts research in astronomy, the planetary sciences, and evolution. Past research projects have been funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, and numerous universities and foundations.
Beyond Our Galaxy
Shostak and co-author Alexandra Barnett, an astronomer and executive director of the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, California, base their predictions on a number of factors.
They include the billions of years in which extraterrestrial life could have evolved and the abundance of planets and stars elsewhere in the universe that are likely to mimic environmental conditions found on Earth.
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