This Week’s Most Popular –Stephen Hawking: “I am More Convinced Than Ever That We are Not Alone”




“As I grow older I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone. After a lifetime of wondering, I am helping to lead a new global effort to find out,” Hawking says in the film while exploring Gliese 832c, a planet that lies 16 light-years away and could possibly harbor advanced alien life.

Stephen Hawking warns against our SETI efforts to contact advanced alien civilizations in a new online film called Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, which shows the famed scientist in a CGI spacecraft called the SS Hawking exploring his favorite destinations in the Universe.

“The Breakthrough Listen project will scan the nearest million stars for signs of life, but I know just the place to start looking. One day we might receive a signal from a planet like Gliese 832c, but we should be wary of answering back. If so, they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria,” he says in the film.

Recently, the the Breakthrough Listen project announced that it is partnering with China’s new FAST radio telescope –now the world’s largest –to explore the hypothetical ‘alien megastructure’ that some speculate is causing a mysterious star known as KIC 8462852 seteep in an outer spiral arm of our Milky Way galaxy, some 1,480 light-years from Earth that is acting in ways the world’s astronomy community has never seen before, defying all known explanations. At random intervals, its light dims by as much as 22 percent, and appears to have gotten dramatically darker over the past century.



Penn State and UC Berkeley astronomer Jason Wright has pointed out that these light patterns are similar to what we might expect if aliens built a Dyson Sphere, a megastructure around the star to harvest its energy. But the mystery persists as the search for natural explanations intensify.

Since August 2016, Wright has rounded up and analyzed some of the most common explanations from being an artifact of the instruments, to a solar system cloud, a comet swarm, the interstellar medium or Bok globules, to black holes. Read all of Wright’s possible causes in at his fascinating blog, AstroWright.

Hawking often uses the example of Columbus’ expedition to the America’s to describe what could happen if an advanced civilization gets word of our existence, saying that that initial meeting “didn’t turn out so well”.

Hawking’s warning is rooted in the idea that an alien civilization, especially one orbiting an ancient, dim red dwarf star that can pick up our signals and understand where they’re coming from, has the potential to be billions of years more advanced than us, making us an easy target to overthrow or invade.

Besides offering an ominous warning, the new 25-minute film highlights Hawking exploring other amazing destinations in our galaxy, such as Sagittarius A* – a supermassive black hole – and our Solar System’s very own Saturn, a planet that Hawking is intrigued by.

The Daily Galaxy via Curiosity Stream



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