Alien Life 'Inevitable': Astronomer

Countless Earth-like planets likely in universe

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 15, 2009 12:21 PM CST

(Newser) – Scientists now believe there could be as many habitable planets in the cosmos as there are stars, and that makes life’s existence elsewhere “inevitable” over billions of years, says one. “It is sort of like running an experiment in your refrigerator—turn it off and something will grow in there,” Alan Boss says. The universe may be full of other life, but he says it’s highly unlikely we’ll find intelligent beings existing while we do, the Telegraph reports.

“Intelligent life seems to be fleeting," he says. "In terms of the universe it only exists for a fraction of time." In coming weeks, NASA’s Kepler space telescope will set off to find other habitable planets and will probably find one within 4 years, Boss notes.

This composite image provided by NASA  of the Tycho supernova remnant combines infrared and X-ray observations from NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space observatories, and the Calar Alto observatory.
This composite image provided by NASA of the Tycho supernova remnant combines infrared and X-ray observations from NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space observatories, and the Calar Alto observatory.   (AP Photo/NASA)
This image provided by NASA  shows the spiral galaxy Messier 101 and is a composite of views from the Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and Chandra X-ray Observatory.
This image provided by NASA shows the spiral galaxy Messier 101 and is a composite of views from the Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and Chandra X-ray Observatory.   (AP Photo/NASA)
Ball Aerospace has completed environmental and operational tests for NASA's Kepler Mission scheduled to launch in March 2009.
Ball Aerospace has completed environmental and operational tests for NASA's Kepler Mission scheduled to launch in March 2009.   (PRNewsFoto/Ball Aerospace & Technologies)
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