Hawking: We probably won't be able to quickly find aliens

Hawking: We probably won't be able to quickly find aliens

Will mankind be able to find an intelligent alien life soon? Most likely not, says theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Hawking made a prediction on April 12 during the Starshot Breakout announcement in New York. At the press conference, Hawking, along with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and a group of scientists, detailed the new project, which aims to send a multitude of tiny spacecraft, wafer-sized, into space to the nearby Alpha Centauri star system.

“If these tiny spaceships travel at a speed of about 20 percent of the speed of light, they can get to Alpha Centauri in just 20 years,” said Yuri Milner. Once on Alpha Centauri, the spacecraft will be able to fly around Alpha Centauri for one hour and collect data that cannot be collected from Earth, such as close-up photographs of the entire star system, sensing cosmic dust molecules and measuring magnetic fields, ”said Avi Loeb, chairman The breakthrough advisory committee of Starshot and part-time professor of science at Harvard University. In addition to training in space technology, viewers wanted to hear about aliens — in particular, when scientists could find them.

Hawking received future questions from reporters in advance, so he had plenty of time to prepare his answers. (Hawking, a person who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He is paralyzed, but “speaks” using a computer.

Hawking said that, most likely, scientists will not be able to find intellectual alien life in the next 20 years. "The probability is quite small," he said.

But the cosmologist mentioned one nuance.

“The discoveries of Kepler’s mission suggest that there are billions of habitable planets only in our galaxy,” said Hawking. "There are at least one hundred billion galaxies in the visible universe, so it is likely that there is intelligent life there."

Hawking is known for his prediction that intelligent aliens can pose a threat to humanity. In fact, when he was asked yesterday about what earthlings should do if we encounter an intelligent alien life, he said: "We must hope that they will not find us." Other researchers on the panel offered a more optimistic view of extraterrestrial life.

Ann Druyan, author, television producer and wife of the late astronomer and astrophysicist Karl Sagan, said that, in her opinion, "aliens are beautiful until proven otherwise, because of great achievements and demonstration of maturity, as it should be in space civilization ".

She added: "It puzzles me that we always imagine punitive aliens who are technically far ahead of us, and yet everyone is a bit short in something, emotionally or spiritually, just like us at the moment."

In fact, Hawking agreed that humanoids cannot be large in every sense. When asked what he thought about how alien life might look, he joked: “Judging by the election campaign, it’s certainly not the same as ours.”

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