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Finding intelligent life on other planets in the next decade isn’t as crazy as it sounds — here’s why

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By 2020 we were expecting jetpacks, hoverboards, flying cars and interplanetary travel. But what might actually happen in the next decade is discovering life on other planets.

A Daily Beast report quoted comments from astronomer Seth Shostak at SETI (the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence), predicted that Earth would make contact with another world before 2030.

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In 1977, Voyager 1 and 2 were launched into space in different directions, packed with music, documents, and spoken greetings in 55 languages. Voyager 1 has left our solar system and by 2025, it will cease transmitting data as its power supply finally dies.

More recently, in April 2018, NASA launched the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a telescope designed to search for planets in different solar systems. Thus far, several different planets have been found like a warm Jupiter-type planet, a super-hot Earth and exo-Neptune. In the first month after TESS’s launch, NASA discovered eight planets and the experience and tactics will only get better, discovering more and more places where life could exist.

Then there’s NASA’s new James Webb telescope, the “world’s premier space science observatory,” which should be in operation by 2021. Another telescope, the ESA’s Remote-Sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-Survey telescope will hopefully be launched in 2028 if everything stays on track.

There are so many different ways that the Earth is searching for other life that it’s merely a numbers game at this point. There are so many options, and the technology of detection is growing so rapidly that the chances are growing with it.

“The universe, we could conclude, is teeming with life,” Shostak told The Daily Beast.

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Life on other planets doesn’t exactly mean “little green men” featured in old-school Hollywood films or the almond-eyed grey creatures in “The X-Files.” Life could be anything from microbes, advanced sea creatures, and other kinds of life that we’ve never even thought of.

Shostak isn’t the only one to anticipate finding alien life. As the late Carl Sagen once explained it, there are “billions and billions” of solar systems in the universe and if fewer than 10 percent of those have some form of life, that still means an absurd amount of possibilities.

“Why should we be the only ones?” asked astronomer Martin Dominik from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

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From the alien perspective, if they are looking into space the same way the Earth is, they could see our planets, but they may not be able to detect that there is human civilization thriving.

“If we transmitted with all of our power possible, you’d never hear it because the sun would overwhelm it [with] the radio signals that it makes,” the Beast quoted former NASA astronaut Terry Virts, explained on the science podcast Oh No Ross and Carrie.

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Check out the full piece at The Daily Beast.


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Kellyanne Conway is preparing to spread the ‘Big Lie’ designed to absolve Trump of screwing up coronavirus response: op-ed

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Writing in the Washington Post this Tuesday, Greg Sargent warns that President Trump's campaign is gearing up to disseminate a new "Big Lie" in a bid to ensure he's re-elected in the wake of his mishandling of the response to the coronavirus pandemic -- and Kellyanne Conway is leading the initial push.

According to the Big Lie, as relayed by Conway, the coronavirus was "unanticipated" and Trump will lead the country back to its former glory.

Sargent writes that in reality, "Trump vastly minimized the crisis in real time for weeks and weeks, at a time when his own health-care officials, as well as members of Congress and outside experts, were frantically doing the opposite, badly hampering the federal response."

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This researcher literally wrote the book on presidential failure — she’s never see anything like Trump’s

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“When presidents fail, they do so on a grand scale.”

That quote comes from “Why President Fail and How They Can Succeed Again,” a book by Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government who worked in the White House under President Bill Clinton. The book was published in 2016, and in the shock of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, I gave it a read. As it documented the way much more prepared presidents had floundered when they needed to shine, the book terrified me about the prospects for a President Trump.

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Trump pushing for approval of unproven Japanese drug for coronavirus treatment after speaking with country’s prime minister

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President Donald Trump spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about the global coronavirus threat where the PM brought up the drug Avigan as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The White House is now fast-tracking regulators to approve the drug, even though it hasn't been proven to work on the virus.

Politico reported Tuesday that global regulators and U.S. researchers have expressed concerns about the risks the drug has for a long time. According to past tests, the drug can cause birth defects and research on it is insufficient.

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