We are on the cusp of discovering alien civilizations, NASA’s top scientists have said
They predict we’re one generation away from finding something in our Milky Way neighborhood, which is bustling with environments conducive to life.
Making their comments at a panel discussion Tuesday, the space scientists predict that the first discoveries will come within a decade. Chief scientist Ellen Stofan believes we’ll have “definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years,” as “in most cases we have the technology, and we’re on a path to implementing it. And so I think we’re definitely on the road.”
“I think we’re one generation away in our solar system, where it’s on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation [away] on a planet around a nearby star,” former astronaut John Grunsfeld said at the session.
NASA has made huge strides in both spotting distant worlds and analyzing their chemical composition. Stofan said: “We know where to look.” Indeed, the Kepler mission has found no shortage of rocks that could support life, while icy moons in our own galaxy have long been suspected to hold incredible secrets beneath their own crust – among them Jupiter’s enigmatic moons – especially Europa, where a gargantuan body of water rages beneath the thin surface and water vapors are literally sprayed 200 km upward, giving clues to life-supporting minerals beneath. This while Ganymede is thought to have more water than all of Earth’s oceans combined.
The same can be said of Saturn’s satellite Enceladus.
Scientists found evidence to suggest that, like our more distant galactic neighbors, Mars also harbored entire oceans, the cracks and scars on its surface appearing to be made by raging water currents full of salt. All of this makes the Milky Way quite “a soggy place,” according to the director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division, Paul Hertz.
“We can see water in the interstellar clouds from which planetary systems and stellar systems form,” he says. “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.”
Read full report via RT.