A top NASA scientists says that there is definitely life in space and we will find it within the next 10 to 20 years. Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA, says finding alien life is “definitely not an if, it’s a when.”
The Daily Mail reports that the chief scientist for NASA, Ellen Stofan, claims that humans are on the brink of proving the existence of alien life. In fact, Stofan says that it is not a matter of if, but when in regards to proving life beyond Earth. Stofan says that by 2025, humans will have likely encountered extra-terrestrials in some form.
“I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.”
Stofan notes that we now have the technology to find life and know where to look. Therefore, it is likely that we will come into contact with alien life forms in the very near future. According to Space.com, veteran astronaut John Grunsfeld, who now works with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, claims that we will find life in our solar system in the next decade and then life on a nearby star a decade after that.
“I think we’re one generation away in our solar system, whether it’s on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation [away] on a planet around a nearby star.”
The presence of life within our solar system is not far-fetched as a number of different celestial bodies have vast oceans beneath their surfaces. For example, Jupiter’s moon, Europa, has a vast liquid ocean beneath its icy exterior shell. Life could be teaming in these underwater bodies. Also, the Mars Curiosity Rover has found evidence that Mars was once covered in a vast ocean larger than Earth’s Arctic ocean. The liquid ocean was determined to have been in place for over 1.5 billion years, giving the planet plenty of time to produce life.
The Dawn Spacecraft is currently orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres. This planet, though icy, has been shown to possibly release plumes of water vapor indicating that there is the possibility of liquid water somewhere beneath the surface.
In fact, Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division, says that the Milky Way is full of water.
“We can see water in the interstellar clouds from which planetary systems and stellar systems form. We can see water in the disks of debris that are going to become planetary systems around other stars, and we can even see comets being dissipated in other solar systems as [their] star evaporates them.”
Outside of our Milky Way, data from the Kepler Space Telescope has suggested that numerous other galaxies and stars may contain rocky worlds similar to Earth.
What do you think? Will we find definitive proof of alien life within the next 10 years?
[Image Credit: Getty/ Win McNamee]