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Boffins estimate there are 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 other habitable planets like Earth in the universe.
That makes the chance of ET contact a “serious thought”, says cyber security expert Chuck Brooks.
Evidence from powerful new telescopes and space probes in our own solar system has shown “water is more common-place than thought and the organic building blocks of life are abundant”.
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Astronomers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand claim there are around 100billion Earth-like planets which could be inhabited in the Milky Way alone.
Chuck told Forbes magazine: “Multiplied by the 500 billion plus galaxies in the universe they estimate around 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 habitable planets, or 50 sextillions, in the universe.
“Of course forms of life could potentially evolve without Earth eco-systems would exponentially change that estimate to even a greater number."
Despite the vast volume of mini-Earths Chuck, who lectures on homeland security technology in the US, said it was perhaps not surprising humans were yet to find cast iron proof of alien life.
Earth is “such a young civilization that only discovered electricity in a recent era”.
“We are just at the doorstep of exploration and should not expect to know what we do not know yet," he said.
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“Man’s real quest for the stars has just begun.
“Some scientists are now estimating that we may have contact with extraterrestrial contact within the next few decades."
He added: “What was yesterday’s science fiction is now today’s reality.
“If we discover life elsewhere it will surely impact our belief systems, religions, and culture.
“Contact could cause panic and confusion, or it could serve to unify humans as a species.
“That remains to be seen but is being openly discussed."
According to ExtremeTech magazine the nearest probably-habitable’ planet is Tau Ceti e (corr) which is 11.9 light years from Earth. It would take thefastest spacecraft ever’ Helios II – which travelled at 43 miles per second – 51,000 years to get there.
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