Search for life in space getting closer

June 7, 2007

Scientists in Britain say they are making remarkable advances in the search for life in other solar systems, though results are more than a decade off.

Glenn White of Open University said a European Space Agency mission called Darwin, due for launch in 2018, will scan 500 stars and study the light from 50 planets to seek vital signs, The Telegraph said Wednesday.

"Once the mission gets up, we are pretty sure that, if there is life out there, we are going to have an extremely high probability of telling you whether life has started on a planet," said White.

Michael Perryman, formerly of the ESA, said aliens could be eavesdropping on Earth, the British newspaper reported.

"As from 1927, we have been propagating outwards from Earth, a very specific indicator of our existence." Those radio waves are now 80 light years away. "If there is intelligent life out there, they sure as hell know we are here," he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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