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How Europe’s Exoplanet Hunter Will Unravel the Mystery of Extraterrestrial Life

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Article by Samhati Bhattacharjya                        December 19, 2019                          (ibtimes.sg)

• On December 18, 2019, the 11 member states of the European Space Agency launched the European Cheops space telescope – an acronym for ‘Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite’ – on a Russian-built Soyuz rocket. Didier Queloz, the 2019 Nobel Physics Prize winner, told AFP in French Guiana, “Cheops is (440 miles) away, exactly where we wanted it to be. It’s absolutely perfect. This is really an exceptional moment in European space history and in the history of the exoplanets.”

• Scientists say that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy, and at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. CHEOPS will help them to have a better understanding of what those planets are made of, says mission chief David Ehrenreich. This will be an important step to unraveling the mystery of extraterrestrial life. “[T]he first results can be expected within months,” said Queloz.

• The CHEOPS telescope will measure the density, composition and size of the 4,000 identified exoplanets. The telescope will measure the reflected light from the planets to discover new insights about the planet’s surface and atmosphere. The European Space Agency’s director of science, Guenther Hasinger, says the aim of the satellite is to compose “a family photo of exoplanets”.

• “In order to understand the origin of life,” says Queloz, “we need to understand the geophysics of these planets. It’s as if we’re taking the first step on a big staircase.”

 

             David Ehrenreich

The European Cheops planet-hunting space telescope was launched on Wednesday (December 18, 2019) to study the exoplanets outside our solar system. Cheops, an acronym for Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite, a joint endeavor of 11 member states of the European Space Agency (ESA), will observe the bright stars that are already known to be orbited by planets.

                      Didier Queloz

The telescope will measure the density, composition and size of the exoplanets. Didier Queloz, 2019 Nobel Physics Prize winner, told AFP in French Guiana, “Cheops is 710 kilometers (440 miles) away, exactly where we wanted it to be, it’s absolutely perfect. This is really an exceptional moment in European space history and in the history of the exoplanets.”

The first exoplanet, dubbed 51 Pegasi b, was identified by Queloz and his colleague Michel Mayor about 24 years ago. Since then roughly a total of 4,000 such exoplanets have been discovered.

           Guenther Hasinger

Existence of extraterrestrial life

The launch of the satellite took place a day after its lift-off was delayed due to a technical rocket glitch during the final countdown. However, on Wednesday it successfully took off at around 0854 GMT French Guiana. This year, it was the third launch for the Russian-built Soyuz rocket.

According to the scientists, there are at least as many galaxies as there are stars —approximately 100 billion and CHEOPS will help them to have a better understanding of what those planets are made of. “We want to go beyond statistics and study them in detail,” mission chief David Ehrenreich had told AFP ahead of Wednesday’s launch.

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Astronomer Has ‘Little Doubt’ We Are Not Alone in the Universe

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Article by Sebastian Kettley                            December 15, 2019                               (express.co.uk)

• The discovery of extraterrestrial life is at the top of the priority list for NASA, the European Space Agency and the scientific community. In 2020, NASA will put another Mars rover on the Red Planet to look for evidence of past life. SETI continues listening to the night skies for signs of contact.

• Scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock recently told The Guardian that she had very “little doubt” humans are not the only intelligent life to call this cosmos home. “There are just too many planets, galaxies, solar systems, moons and stars to think there can’t be more life,” said Aderin-Pocock. But she also shed doubt on ever finding any extraterrestrial life saying, “Maybe they came in the age of the dinosaurs and left because they had no one to communicate with.” “I think though that there’s a great many variables that would need to happen to result in us making contact.”

• Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins told the New York Daily News: “It seems to me the height of arrogance to say that our little stupid Sun off in one obscure corner of an odd galaxy called the Milky Way should be the only one in the whole universe capable of developing what we sometimes refer to as intelligent life.”

• SpaceX founder and South African billionaire Elon Musk thinks aliens could be real, but we will likely never find them. He points out that the universe is 13.8 billion years old – plenty of time for alien civilizations to rise and fall without humans ever noticing.

• NASA has been focusing on the discovery of habitable exoplanets situated in a ‘habitable zone’ where life could evolve around stars far outside of our solar system. NASA’s William Borucki said, “If we find lots of planets like ours, we’ll know it’s likely that we aren’t alone, and that someday we might be able to join other intelligent life in the universe.”

• NASA’s now-retired Kepler space telescope uncovered thousands of distant exoplanets since 2009. Kepler scientist Padi Boyd stated, “I think it’s a really exciting time to be a scientist.” “Here we are in a position to actually answer the question, ‘Are we alone?’ and be able to get a scientific answer.”

[Editor’s Note]  Excuse me, but the discovery of extraterrestrial life is NOT at the top of the priority list for NASA, the European Space Agency or the scientific community. This is a load of “scientific” misdirection and double-talk.  In spite of this article’s optimistic title, it is nothing more than a parade of deep state puppets (with the exception of Michael Collins) spouting the deep state’s agenda that while it may be possible that intelligent extraterrestrials exist somewhere, or may have existed in the past, our Earth civilization will never meet them. This is regarded as the “exciting” scientific point of view. They maintain this extraordinary lie so that the public won’t pay attention to the “kooks on the fringe” who claim that extraterrestrial life exists throughout the galaxy, that many alien races have visited the Earth, and they continue to do so. For the past seventy years, the deep state shadow government has done everything within its considerable power to hide this reality. The public is absolutely brain-washed to believe that aliens do not exist anywhere near our solar system, despite the overwhelming evidence of UFOs and extraterrestrial visitation. But very soon the truth will be revealed. And when the truth is finally revealed, people will remember these deep state institutions and ‘scientists’ who made a long and lucrative career of lying to the world.

 

The question of ‘are we alone in the universe’ has fascinated the scientific community for decades. Aliens and other extraterrestrial organisms are the top of the priority list for bodies like NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

    NASA scientist Padi Boyd
          Deep State Stooge, Elon Musk

In 2020, NASA will launch a Mars rover to the Red Planet to trawl the alien world for evidence of past life.

And projects like SETI or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence are continuously listening to the night skies for signs of contact.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is one of the scientists who have very “little doubt” humans are not the only intelligent life to call this cosmos home.

The space scientist told The Guardian the numbers are stacked in favour of a diverse universe.

Dr Aderin-Pocock said: “I sometimes wonder where the aliens are, but I have little doubt that they’re out there. It’s the numbers game.

naive astronomer who is just happy to be in the public limelight, Maggie Aderin-Pocock
    NASA’s William Borucki

“There are just too many planets, galaxies, solar systems, moons and stars to think there can’t be more life.

“I think though that there’s a great many variables that would need to happen to result in us making contact.

“Maybe they came in the age of the dinosaurs and left because they had no one to communicate with.

“I actually think that aliens arriving would be brilliant for us. Us putting aside our differences and getting our act together to face invading aliens might finally unite humanity.”

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

Will 2020 Be the Year We Find Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life?

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Article by Leonard David                            November 26, 2019                        (space.com)

• So far, astronomers have found more than 4,000 exoplanets and more are being discovered, suggesting that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet. Space.com asked top SETI experts whether they will detect life elsewhere in the galaxy or even intelligent extraterrestrials?

• In searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, senior SETI astronomer Seth Shostak relies on detecting narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light from nearby star systems. If there are 10,000 extraterrestrial societies broadcasting radio signals in the galaxy, then he estimates that SETI will need to examine 10 million star systems to find one. That will take at least two more decades.

• But with the new receivers for the Allen Telescope Array in northern California that is scheduled for 2020, SETI will be able to search for laser technosignatures, which may improve their chances. Says Shostak, “[O]ne can always hope to be taken by surprise.”

• Michael Michaud, author of the book: Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials, says that improvements to search technologies could boost the odds of success. But there are still vast areas of the galaxy that we are not looking at. In searching for chemical technosignatures, we’ll most likely find simple life forms before finding a technological civilization.

• If SETI did find evidence of life in the galaxy, Michaud thinks the news will leak quickly. How should they announce the discovery? “[G]overnmental authorities won’t have much time for developing a public-affairs strategy,” says Michaud. Premade plans for such an announcement are unlikely because agency personnel won’t be able to get past the “giggle factor”, thinking that it is all just too absurd.

• Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Initiatives, which is affiliated with SETI, said, “I think this is going to be a long-term project. I estimate a very small probability of success (of finding extraterrestrial life) in any given year.” Nevertheless, “The Breakthrough Initiatives is committed to full and immediate disclosure of any and all results,” said Worden.

• Steven Dick, an astrobiology scholar and author of the book: Astrobiology, Discovery, and Societal Impact, says despite the work by Breakthrough Listen and NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), there’s no reason to think 2020 would be the year for discovery. “[A]ll these things combine to increase the chances over the next decade of finding extraterrestrial intelligence. I would caution, though, that any discovery will be an extended process, consisting of detection and interpretation before any understanding is achieved,” said Dick. “I see the search advancing incrementally next year, but with an accelerating possibility that life will be discovered in the near future.” “One thing that is certain is that we are getting a better handle on the issues of societal impact, should such a discovery be made.”

• Douglas Vakoch, president of the SETI-affiliated nonprofit Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI), notes that “We are right now on the verge of finding out whether there is life elsewhere in the universe.” We scan with available technologies: Earth-based observatories, space-based telescopes, and even craft that travel to other planets and moons in our solar system. “It all depends on how plentiful intelligent extraterrestrials are. If one in 10,000 star systems is home to an advanced civilization trying to make contact, then …the news we’re not alone in the universe could well come in 2020,” Vakoch says.

• “As the next generation of space telescopes is launched, we will increase our chances of detecting signs of life through changes to the atmospheres of planets that orbit other stars, giving us millions of targets in our search for even simple life in the cosmos,” says Vakoch. But we probably won’t have “definitive proof” until after 2020 when NASA launches the James Webb Space Telescope, or 2028 when the European Space Agency starts its Atmospheric Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey, or ARIEL, to study the atmospheres of exoplanets for potential signs of life.

• “[D]on’t hold your breath for discovery by 2020,” says Vakoch. Humans cannot control whether or not there is life elsewhere in the universe. “Either it’s there or it’s not.” “To be human is to live with uncertainty.” “If we demand guarantees before we begin searching, then we are guaranteed to find nothing. But if we are willing to commit to the search in the coming year and long afterwards, even without knowing we will succeed, then we are sure to discover that there is at least one civilization in the universe that has the passion and the determination to understand its place in the cosmos — and that civilization is us.”

[Editor’s Note]   Seth Shostak and his band of idiots at SETI make their living by covering up the widespread existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life all around us, on behalf of their puppet masters, the Deep State elite. Are they liars or are they being fooled themselves? If they are half the scientists they claim to be, they must know the truth. Therefore, they are the very face of the Deep State lying to the public. They are reprehensible. They talk in scientific terms about the new technologies that they employ in their phony search to find a needle in a haystack. But they insist that it will take years, and probably lifetimes before they find a microbe on a distant exoplanet. Then they add platitudes of what a grand discovery it will be if they ever find life in the universe besides humanity. But make no mistake. Their job is to never find life beyond the Earth, and they have gotten very good at it.

 

In the past three decades, scientists have found more than 4,000 exoplanets. And the discoveries will keep rolling in; observations suggest that every star in the Milky Way galaxy hosts more than one planet on average.

                  Seth Shostak

Given a convergence of ground- and space-based capability, artificial intelligence/machine learning research and other tools, are we on the verge of identifying what is universally possible for life — or perhaps even confirming the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence?

Is 2020 the celestial payoff year, in which objects of interest are found to offer “technosignatures,” indicators of technology developed by advanced civilizations?

Space.com asked top SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) experts about what next year may signal regarding detecting other starfolk.

Michael Michaud

Gaining speed
“Well, despite being the widely celebrated 100-year anniversary of the election of Warren G. Harding, 2020 will not likely gain fame as the year we first discover extraterrestrial life,” said Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California.

The search for intelligent beings elsewhere, Shostak said, is largely conducted by checking out nearby star systems for either narrow-band radio signals or brief flashes of laser light. And those might succeed at any time, he told Space.com.

“But one should remember that this type of search is gaining speed in an exponential fashion, and that particular technical fact allows a crude estimate of when SETI might pay off. If we take — for lack of a better estimate — Frank Drake’s opinion that there might be 10,000 broadcasting societies in the Milky Way, then we clearly have to examine at least one [million] – 10 million stellar systems to have a reasonable chance of tripping across one. That goal will be reached in the next two decades, but certainly not in 2020,” Shostak said.

             Pete Worden

Improved searches

But there are still reasons for intelligent-alien hunters to be excited and optimistic about the coming year. Multiple existing projects will either be expanded or improved in 2020, Shostak said. For example, the SETI Institute will get new receivers for the Allen Telescope Array in northern California, and both the SETI Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, will conduct new searches for possible laser technosignatures.

“And, of course, there’s always the unexpected,” Shostak said. “In 1996, the biggest science story of the year was the claim that fossilized Martian microbes had been found in a meteorite. No one really saw that coming. So one can always hope to be taken by surprise.”

Previous predictions

“I am skeptical about picking a specific year for the first discovery. Previous predictions of success have been wrong,” said Michael Michaud, author of the thought-provoking book “Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials” (Copernicus, 2007).

“I and others have observed that the continued improvement of our search technologies and strategies could boost the odds for success,” Michaud said, noting that the primary focus of SETI remains on radio signals. “However, we still don’t cover all frequencies, all skies, all of the time. Other types of searches have failed, too, such as looking for laser signals or Dyson spheres [ET mega-engineering projects]. Those campaigns usually have limited funding and often don’t last long.”

                   Steven Dick

A new possibility has arisen because of exoplanet discoveries, Michaud said: “In some cases, astronomers now can look for chemical evidence of life in planetary atmospheres. It is conceivable that we will find simple forms of life before we find signals from a technological civilization.”

     Douglas Vakoch

Prevailing opinion

If astronomers do someday confirm a SETI detection, how should they announce the discovery? It is an old question that has been answered in several ways.

“The prevailing opinion among radio astronomers has been that the news will leak quickly. If that is correct, scientific and governmental authorities won’t have much time for developing a public-affairs strategy,” Michaud said.

“It remains possible that the sophisticated monitoring capabilities of intelligence agencies might be the first to detect hard evidence,” Michaud said. “One might think that the government would have a plan to deal with such an event.”

But, Michaud said that his own experience suggests that such plans are unlikely to be drawn up due to a “giggle factor” and would be forgotten as officials rotated out of their positions. He previously represented the U.S. Department of State in interagency discussions of national space policy.

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. ExoNews.org distributes this material for the purpose of news reporting, educational research, comment and criticism, constituting Fair Use under 17 U.S.C § 107. Please contact the Editor at ExoNews with any copyright issue.

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