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Humans will make contact with aliens by the end of the century, theoretical physicist and futurist Michio Kaku told Redditers last week. However, Kaku said he wasn't sure whether we'd be able to communicate directly with this unknown extraterrestrial society — one that could run the gamut from hostile to pacifist, according to Kaku.
In his AMA on Reddit, Kaku responded to a question about alien civilizations, saying, "Let me stick my neck out. I personally feel that within this century, we will make contact with an alien civilization, by listening in on their radio communications. But talking to them will be difficult, since they could be tens of light years away. So, in the meantime, we must decipher their language to understand their level of technology. Are they Type I, II, or III??? [These represent three categories in the Kardashev scale, measuring technological achievement in civilizations based on their level of energy use for communication.] And what are their intentions. Are they expansive and aggressive, or peaceful."
February - Grad - Student - Jocelyn - Bell
On February 24, 1968, an astronomy grad student Jocelyn Bell announced that she had discovered the first pulsar. A few months earlier, she noticed what she called a "bit of scruff" in the data from her telescope. A signal was sending pulses every 1.3 seconds. At first she and her advisor, Anthony Hewish, thought it could have come from aliens. They ruled out that option when they found another signal coming from a different part of the sky. Bell and Hewish found four pulsars before publishing their findings, but they still had no explanation. Scientists have since figured out that pulsars are rapidly spinning neutron stars that radiate narrow beams of light in opposite directions.
Futurists and theoretical physicists, among others, have proposed a range of ideas for when and how Earthlings could "hear from"...
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