Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner are now ready to face the life that may exist beyond ours. The smartest man alive publicly showed his support to the $100 million initiative that will jump start the search for proof of alien life.
The search for extraterrestrial life is already happening in every space sector, but the initiative called Breakthrough Initiatives funded by the Russian billionaire Milner promises the use of extensive resources and access to the most powerful telescopes ever built.
Hawking believes that these tools will help answer the biggest question every mankind is curious about – “Are we alone in this universe?”
Mankind so “happen to be sociable creatures. It is important to us to know if we are alone in the dark,” says Hawking.
The Breakthrough Initiatives team already reserved their right to use two of the best telescopes on Earth, one in West Virginia and the other in Australia. Project scientists will start scanning the entire Milky Way along with its neighboring galaxies in an attempt to find radio waves and light sources. These two things highly indicate extraterrestrial life outside our very own planet.
With this huge initiative, the telescopes to be used are 50 times more sensitive than other space telescopes and will scan 10 times the territory that was covered by previous search attempts. Breakthrough Initiatives believes that this project is man’s best chance to find alien life.
Previous studies focused on calling out to anyone who could be out there, but this project will take on a different path and will focus on listening and observing.
Hawking stated that if a civilization does exist beyond Earth and if they are reading the signals we send to them, then they could be billions of years ahead of mankind. “If so, they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria,” he added.
This $100-million project is expected to last for ten years. Milner will let the people get a public access to all scientific data collected, and will also provide an open source software to help researchers find the necessary information that they need. Lastly, they will also use a hardware that will be compatible to all high-technology telescopes on Earth.
The team believes that the edge this project has above others is sufficient resources and crowdsourcing that will be of great help to find alien life.
“Mankind has a deep need to explore, to learn to know… It’s time to commit to finding the answer to the search for life beyond Earth,” said Hawking.
“We are alive, we are intelligent, we must know.”
Source: ABC News