Finding other sentient life in the universe would be the most significant discovery in human history.
Scientists estimate that there are 800 billion stars in the
Last month, astronomers discovered the first Earth-like planet orbiting its star at a distance where liquid water could be present, a condition thought essential to life. Called Kepler 186f, it is only 10% larger than Earth and is 490 light years away.
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which will launch in 2017, and the James Webb Space Telescope, launching in 2018, will help scientists discover more planets with potential biosignatures.
Astrobiology is a serious subject studied by serious scientists around the world. Reflecting this interest, next September the
Whether life exists on other planets in the universe continues to be a matter of debate among scientists.
Around the world a number of astronomers listen to naturally occurring radio frequencies. They try to filter out the cosmic noise and interference of human-made satellites and spacecraft to find anomalies that could be signals from civilizations elsewhere in the universe.
The Allen Telescope Array at the
Recently radio astronomers have detected pulsed signals that last only a few milliseconds. These "Fast Radio Bursts" have caused scientists to speculate as to their cause. Some scientists hypothesize they could be from stars colliding or from an extraterrestrial intelligent source.
Other astronomers search for laser light pulses, instead of radio waves. Researchers at the SETI Optical Telescope, run by the
I hope today's hearing will enable us to learn more about how research in astrobiology continues to expand this fascinating frontier. The unknown and unexplored areas of space spark human curiosity. Americans and others around the world look up at the stars and wonder if we are alone or is there life on other planets.
Read this original document at: http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-%20SY-WState-S000244-20140521.pdf
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