Cambridge Science Centre


Stephen Hawking launches a new search for ET

Written on 7 Aug 2015 in Blog

Famed Cambridge-based scientist, Stephen Hawking, has given his support to Breakthrough Listen, the most intensive search for life beyond Earth to date using two of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

Breakthrough Listen will be searching for alien life by listening for potential radio signals transmitted from advanced populations far beyond our solar system, surveying the one million stars in the Milky Way closest to Earth, along with the 100 closest galaxies.

The new search is estimated to be 50 times more sensitive and span 10 times more space, than previous pursuits for alien life. Professor Stephen Hawking, who has previously warned the human race against trying to contact any alien life, said that the search was “critically important” and hopes it will answer the question of whether civilisation has company in the universe.

Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth, is 24 trillion miles away and its light takes 4.2 years to reach Earth and it is hoped that the telescopes used in the project will be able to detect them.

If you and your family are budding astronomers then take part in our Cosmic Challenge and hunt out our own solar system in and around Cambridge. Businesses across the city centre are representing each of the planets and every completed Challenge will be entered into our fantastic prize draw. Find out more about the Challenge here.