Russian scientists expect to meet aliens by 2031

MOSCOW Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:56am EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian scientists expect humanity to encounter alien civilizations within the next two decades, a top Russian astronomer predicted on Monday.

"The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms... Life exists on other planets and we will find it within 20 years," Andrei Finkelstein, director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Speaking at an international forum dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial life, Finkelstein said 10 percent of the known planets circling suns in the galaxy resemble Earth.

If water can be found there, then so can life, he said, adding that aliens would most likely resemble humans with two arms, two legs and a head.

"They may have different color skin, but even we have that," he said.

Finkelstein's institute runs a program launched in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War space race to watch for and beam out radio signals to outer space.

"The whole time we have been searching for extraterrestrial civilizations, we have mainly been waiting for messages from space and not the other way," he said.

(Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Paul Casciato)

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Comments (9)
Cranios wrote:
Incredibly, some people will confuse this man’s prejudiced, unfounded speculation with “science.”

Jun 28, 2011 2:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oldtimer78 wrote:
Such a ‘prediction’ by a respectable astronomer seems to me to smack of those who predict the end of the world. These have been many and always wrong. How can this man be so confident as to the time of the encounter with aliens– within twenty years? Mankind has been in the business of trying to master the depths of space for a long time now, and has not yet sent a man to Mars—only 49 million miles away at the nearest. But the distance to possibly other inhabitated planets, in our own galaxy,is so much greater that it seems other civilisations also will not have been able to overcome the timescale involved in the journey. Nothing can travel faster than light and the distance to the nearest star is 4 light-years. I am not arguing that other civilisations do not exist, only questioning whether they, or we for that matter, will ever be able to travel to make contact.

Jun 28, 2011 3:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GA_Chris wrote:
Speculation also indicates that intelligent life may exist in Washington, DC. However, early reports claiming this have since been proven false

Jun 28, 2011 3:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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