Professor Stephen Hawking and billionaire Yuri Milner have launched the biggest search in history for intelligent life in space. The project will cover ten times more sky than previous attempts.
The initiative, launched by Breakthrough Initiatives Group, will listen out for broadcast signals from a million of the closest stars to Earth and draw on the expertise of the world’s best astronomers, physicists and other scientists.
“It’s time to commit to finding the answer – to search for life beyond Earth. We are alive. We are intelligent. We must know,” said Professor Hawking. “Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching these lights of ours, aware of what they mean.”
Two of the world’s most powerful telescopes will be used to scour for signs of intelligent life – the Green Bank telescope in West Virginia and the Parkes Telescope in New South Wales.
The Parkes Telescope famously had an active role in the 1969 first landing of man on the moon.