Extraterrestrial intelligent life will most likely be discovered during the next quarter of the century, American astronomer and popularizer of science, SETI project member, Seth Shostak said.
The scientist made the statement at the symposium, which took place in February 2014 in the framework of NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) at Stanford University.
"Instead of watching a few thousand stellar systems, we will be exploring millions of stellar systems within 24 years, - said Shostak. "A million is just the number, when there is a probability to find something," he added.
Shostak's optimistic forecast is partly based on observations that NASA obtained with the help of Kepler space telescope. The telescope showed that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is probably inundated with inhabitable worlds. According to the astronomer, there are tens of billions of Earth-like worlds in our galaxy. This fantastic figure suggests that some of these worlds are inhabited by intelligent beings.
Project SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is the general name for projects and activities to search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Some astronomers believe that there are so many planets in the universe that even if a small part of them are suitable for life, then thousands or even millions of planets could be inhabitable.