According to Lord Martin Rees, the Queen’s astronomer, alien life beyond our solar sytem could very well be discovered within the next 40 years.
Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, believes that developments in astronomy mean that astrophysicists could be able to view images of distant planets outside of our solar system as soon as 2025, and potentially discover whether there is some form of life on them.
“We know now that stars are orbited by retinues of planets just as our sun is. We have learned this in just the last decade, essentially,” said Rees.
“Within 10 or 20 years we will be able to image other planets like the earth, orbiting other stars.
“That will be a really exciting subject to see if there is evidence for [extra-terrestrial] life or not.”
Speaking at a debate with Professor Stephen Hawking, he Lord Rees emphasized the importance of looking into the origin of life, so we can better understand it.
Lord Rees cited that there may be scientific challenges that are “beyond human brains,” and that alien interaction may be the key to understanding ourselves.
“There may be some questions that our brains will never understand, in the same way that chimpanzees couldn’t understand quantum theory, that are just beyond human brains.
“It could be some of the challenges [we face] may not be fully solved, we may have to wait the post-human era. That is evolution beyond humans – and we are not the culmination of evolution on the earth.”
Lord Rees highlighted how essential it is to keep funding in science and space programs, as they are our only hopes for better understanding life.