Harvard Astronomer Gives Pointers on Searching for Space Aliens

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Green galaxy - Sputnik International
Are we truly alone in the universe or are there other extraterrestrial civilizations thriving somewhere in deep space? During an interview with Radio Sputnik, Abraham Loeb, Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University, said that finding the answer to this question is a worthy pursuit and offered some suggestions on how it might be accomplished.

Radio Sputnik: Is this a new thought that there are both primitive and intelligent lifeforms out there?

Abraham Loeb: Well, a lot of people discuss it, and people often have prejudices about this issue. They either say that [intelligent life is] very likely to be out there or it’s very unlikely to be out there; people like to have opinions. My view, based on the history of science, is that it’s best not to have a prejudice; not to assume that you know the answer but just look at the sky and look for data, and explore without the prejudice, because that allows you to discover things that you haven’t expected. And so my premise is that we should use the best telescopes, we should develop the best tools we have to search for life. And one way of doing it is by looking remotely from Earth at the sky, and that’s what most traditional astronomers would advocate.

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But in my view it’s also worthwhile to visit these places because, you know, we have been looking for a while, we haven’t seen any intelligent signals, any artificial signals coming from the sky…  And we haven’t detected yet any signature of another civilization. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t search, but it’s quite possible that all civilizations out there are primitive in their technology… and the way to find out is to visit their planets. We can in principle do that — with conventional rockets that we use, it would take us hundreds of thousands of years to reach the nearest stars.

Want to learn more? Listen to the full story.

The views and opinions expressed by Abraham Loeb are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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