Mark Zuckerberg has joined Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking to donate a combined total of $100 million dollars in the search for alien life.
The Breakthrough Listen project begins by searching for signals of life on planet Proxima B, also known as Earth 2.0, according to Metro. Although Proxima B is four light years (4.37) from our own Earth, it is still close enough to observe from afar and determine whether or not alien life exists there.
The Breakthrough Listen project aims to scour the sky for sound signals that might come from Proxima B in an effort to determine whether there might be signals from the planet, whether they be messages from the potential inhabitants or simply noise from the planet.
Proxima B has been studied as much as possible from our own planet and has been found to fit the conditions that life needs to exist. Now, Mark Zuckerberg has joined Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking to take the steps to find out if life is present on Proxima B and potentially begin a journey to visit the planet.
Yuri Milner thinks that a spacecraft could be on its way to Proxima B within a generation.
“It came only a few months after Stephen Hawking and I, with Mark Zuckerberg’s support, launched our Breakthrough Starshot project, which aims to launch a tiny spacecraft to Alpha Centauri within a generation.”
— Jay Pase (@J_M_0_N) September 24, 2016
It was only last month that astronomers realized Proxima Centauri, the nearest sun besides our own, had a planet within it system capable of harboring life. It was quite exciting when they found that such a planet, Proxima B, existed, according to the Daily Mail.
“At the time, we hoped there was a planet in the Centauri system, but we didn’t know. Now we have a definite target. That makes the mission feel more tangible.”
The Breakthrough Listen team hopes to begin scouring the airwaves for radio emissions from Proxima B. Their home base for the study will be housed in the Parkes Observatory in Australia.
The Parkes Observatory was also used to televise the Apollo 11 landing on the moon in 1969.
— inextlive (@inextlive) September 25, 2016
Mark Zuckerburg has kept fairly quiet regarding his involvement in the Breakthrough Listen project. However, he sits on the Breakthrough Starshot board of trustees, alongside Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking, with a voice in how the project will be conducted and overseen.
It is unknown whether there is a potential connection to Zuckerberg’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which aims to cure diseases in children, or if the Breakthrough Listen project is a completely separate initiative altogether.
Mark Zuckerberg’s passion for making life better for the world has grown considerably in the last few years. In addition to assisting with funding for the Breakthrough Listen project and the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, he has also worked diligently to provide free Internet access to areas that need it the most, such as remote areas of the world where violence against woman and children have taken over the society.
In addition, Zuckerberg has brought the world together through Facebook in a way that might never have been thought possible. It seems only fitting that he has a part in connecting the planet Earth with life in another universe.
Although the Breakthrough Listen project is just beginning, there is a possibility that the discovery of alien life may happen within our lifetimes. Who knows, if there is intelligent life in Proxima B, maybe our Facebook friend lists could expand beyond the stars.
[Featured Image by Bangkokhappiness/Shutterstock]