Close encounter with aliens possible this centuryJuly 16th, 2012 - 5:58 pm ICT by IANS
London, July 16 (IANS) We have been hearing so much about aliens that a close encounter may well be possible this century, says a leading scientist urging governments to be prepared for the eventuality.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell, physicist and Oxford University professor, told the Euroscience Open Forum conference in Dublin: “I do suspect we are going to get signs of life elsewhere, maybe even intelligent life, within the next century.”
Burnell said we are most likely to find alien life where we find rocky planets with carbon dioxide and ozone in the atmospheres. “If we do suspect there is intelligent life out there, are we going to make ourselves known to them or not?”
“There are interesting questions about who you would tell first - the press, the prime minister, the pope? We should start thinking now,” said Burnell. However, she said that even if we do find signs of alien life, it is likely to take decades to talk to them from Earth via radio or lasers, the Daily Mail reports.
Burnell said: “Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. So you are probably talking of conversations that could take 50 or 100 years, just one way.”
Previous research has found almost half of Britons believe in little green men. The poll of more than 2,000 men and women for the Royal Society found that 44 percent are of the opinion extra-terrestrial life exists and more than a third of those questioned said we should be actively searching and trying to make contact with ET.
Some say that if we alert hostile aliens to our existence we risk an invasion that could lead to the end of life on Earth. They argue that if ET has the technology to cross space to reach us any defences we have will be all but useless. And Stephen Hawking has warned that aliens may plunder Earth for its resources.
- Alien landings 'unlikely to upset modern Earthlings' - Jan 10, 2011
- Almost half of Britons believe in aliens - Nov 30, 2010
- White House says 'no evidence' of extraterrestrials - Nov 08, 2011
- Look for signs of mining in asteroid belts to find alien life, say scientists - Apr 05, 2011
- Where are extraterrestrials hiding? - Nov 08, 2011
- NASA discovery suggests aliens exist - even on Earth - Dec 02, 2010
- DNA screening to help choose life partners - Jul 13, 2012
- People unfazed by possibility of alien life - Jan 10, 2011
- 'Chances of finding aliens greater than ever', says Brit astronomer - Jan 26, 2010
- Spacebots only way to find ETs: expert - Apr 19, 2012
- Are aliens here on Earth? - Jan 25, 2010
- NASA Announces Existence Of Bacteria Thriving On Arsenic - Dec 03, 2010
- Aliens may have left footprints on moon! - Dec 29, 2011
- We are alone, aliens unlikely in the universe, says expert - Jan 24, 2011
- Novel discovery boosts chances of finding aliens: NASA - Dec 01, 2010
Tags: alien life, close encounter, daily mail, defences, euroscience open forum, eventuality, extra terrestrial life, forum conference, hostile aliens, intelligent life, interesting questions, jocelyn bell burnell, life on earth, little green men, mail reports, oxford university, previous research, rocky planets, signs of life, stephen hawking