From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul> Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 12:06:32 -0400 Archived: Tue, 15 May 2012 12:06:32 -0400 Subject: ET: The Chances Of Finding Alien Life Source: BBC.Com http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120509-the-chances-of-finding-et 14 May 2012 ET: The Chances Of Finding Alien Life With new "Earth-like" planets being discovered every week, our space columnist Richard Hollingham asks whether it has increased our chances of finding intelligent alien life. I've always imagined that on the wall at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Seti) Institute in California there's a sealed cabinet. Beside it, a hammer and big red letters reading: "In case of aliens, break glass". Inside will be instructions about what to do next. In fact Seti does have a special protocol listing the procedures to follow if ET calls. It essentially boils down to this: tell everyone, have meetings, and get nations to agree whether to send a message back. Seti has recently updated this protocol, which may be timely given the number of planetary discoveries being notched up by Nasa's Kepler mission. Launched in 2009, the Kepler space telescope is designed to detect planets orbiting stars, other than the Sun, that might support life. So far, it's found 2,321 possible planets and confirmed 61. Of these, the one everyone has been getting excited about is Kepler 22-b =96 a rocky planet in the "habitable zone" of its solar system. But this is likely to be only the first of many. "We're going to be flooded with habitable worlds over the next year or two," says Seth Shostak. As Seti's senior astronomer, Shostak will be the guy behind the Casio keyboard tapping out the D, E, C, C, G welcoming refrain when the big spaceship lands. "Kepler has three years worth of data which means it can start discovering cousins of the Earth," Shostak explains. "So in some sense, this is a predictable tsunami of habitable worlds and =96 from a big picture point of view =96 I try not to let my blood pressure rise just because there's one more." [More at site... thanks to 'The Norm' for the lead] Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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