(ORDO NEWS) — Dr. Sasha Quanz of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology said he believes humans will likely discover life beyond our planet within the next 25 years. His reasoning seems quite convincing.
“In 1995, my colleague [and Nobel Prize winner] Didier Queloz discovered the first planet outside the solar system,” Quantz said. “More than 5,000 exoplanets are known today, and we’re discovering more every day.”
Of these thousands of exoplanets, dozens are thought to be at least potentially habitable.
“We need to explore the atmospheres of these planets,” said the Swiss professor. “We need an instrument that will allow us to take pictures of these planets.”
While the James Webb Space Telescope has already taken breathtaking images of one giant exoplanet, its focus is on the stars and, as Quantz said, is “not powerful enough” to take pictures of smaller exoplanets.
The astrophysicist hopes for two projects: the first is the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), currently under construction in Chile, and the European Space Agency (ESA) project to study exoplanet atmospheres for signs of extraterrestrial life.
The latest mission, known as the Large Exoplanet Interferometer or LIFE, conceived in 2017, is still in the early stages of development and has yet to receive approval or funding from ESA.
However, Quantz described the LIFE program as “a candidate for a future major mission within the ESA’s science programme,” which in itself is a huge step for the Search for Intelligent Life (SETI) community.
It has, by the way, gained unprecedented popularity in recent years as the scientific community is starting to take the idea that we are not alone in the universe more seriously than ever before.
Quantz believes that within the next 25 years, humans will discover life outside the solar system if the projects mentioned above come to fruition.
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