Hawking's search for alien life 霍金髮起尋找外星人計劃

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Image caption Professor Stephen Hawking has previously said: "I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space."

史蒂芬·霍金教授發起了一項新的探索行動,試圖回答外星是否有生命存在這個問題。據說這是人類歷史上規模最大的外星智慧生命搜索行動。以下是 Pallab Ghosh 的報道。

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Scientists have been listening out for signals from intelligent civilisations on other worlds for decades, so far with no success. This new initiative is the most ambitious yet. It will survey ten times more of the sky than previous programmes. And over the next ten years, radio telescopes will listen out for broadcasts from a million of the stars closest to the Earth.

The scheme has the support of some of the world's leading space researchers, including Professor Stephen Hawking, who says it's now time to answer one of the biggest questions in science:

Professor Stephen Hawking

「Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching these lights of ours, aware of what they mean. Or do our lights wander a lifeless cosmos - unseen beacons announcing that here, on one rock, the Universe discovered its existence? There is no bigger question. It's time to commit to finding the answer - to search for life beyond Earth."

Many scientists believe that there's only a small chance of receiving a signal from aliens from outer space. But if we do, we'll know that humanity is not alone in the universe.