Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire has vowed to spend a huge chunk of his fortune on funding the search for alien life.
Investor Yuri Milner appeared alongside Professor Hawking at London’s Royal Society today to announce the beginning of the “biggest ever” attempt to locate extraterrestrial civilisations.
The one million stars closest to Earth will be examined in unprecedented detail and telescopes will peer deep into the centre of the Milky Way.
He will fund the rejuvenated quest to find life on other planets through his Breakthrough Initiatives project, which will hand over $100 million.
Boasting stakes in Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Spotify, Milner is worth $1.8.
Professor Hawking has backed the new bid to find ET.
“We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth so in an infinite universe there must be other occurrences of life,” he said.
“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 our rock, the universe discovered its existence?
“Either way, there is no bigger question. It is time to commit to finding the answer to search for life beyond Earth. The Breakthrough Initiatives are making that commitment. We are life, we are intelligent, we must know.”
The “biggest scientific search ever undertaken” will take 10 years and use two of the world’s most powerful telescopes: the Green Bank Telescope in Virginia and the Parkes Telescope in Australia.
This pioneering quest will cover a 10 times larger patch of space than any other search, whilst zeroing in on areas of interest with a resolution 50 times greater than anything achieved before.
Yuri Milner said: “We’re committed to bringing the Silicon Valley approach to the search for intelligent life in the Universe.”
Courtesy of The Mirror