Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/16/2014 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Expect an answer to this fundamental question within 15 years.

Within 10 to 15 years, we will locate life on a planet beyond Earth. This is the dramatic prediction made by an astronomer to Mother Jones, speaking about advances in imaging technology. It is a sentiment also shared by many other astronomers.

Claims of UFOs aren't scientifically verifiable, so they don't count. Few scientists think UFOs are real anyway. New methods of detecting life will prove fruitful and provide a better answer.

Claims of UFOs aren't scientifically verifiable, so they don't count. Few scientists think UFOs are real anyway. New methods of detecting life will prove fruitful and provide a better answer.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/16/2014 (6 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Life, other planets, aliens, SETI, extraterrestrial, biomarkers, telescope, light, God, faith, Catholic


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - One of the most profound questions of our age may be answered definitively within our lifetime. Is there life beyond Earth?

According to most astronomers, the answer is a definite yes. The universe is so vast, and planets appear to be so abundant that it's almost inconceivable to think that Earth is the only planet that hosts life. However, there still exists no good evidence to demonstrate that such life actually exists.

St. Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers.

In science, this is a problem because nothing can be claimed without scientific evidence.

Naturally, astronomers have been working on ways to answer this question. A fast answer to the question should come within 10 to 15 years, according to Frank Marchis, who works for the SETI institute and is a member of a planet-hunting team that expects to use the Gemini Telescope in Chile to image planets around other stars.

The telescope is very powerful. While the Hubble Space Telescope has a 2-meter diameter, with larger being better, the Gemini Telescope has an 8 meter diameter. Within coming years some will have diameters as large as 30 meters. These telescopes use lasers and computers to adjust mirrors hundreds of times per second to account for atmospheric distortion. The end result are images that are as sharp as any taken in space, but with even higher resolution than the Hubble.

Using these telescopes, astronomers will actually be able to see individual planets around distant stars. They will see those planets with enough resolution that they will be able to analyze light passing through their atmospheres. Using this analysis, they can search for biomarkers - signs of life, in the atmosphere.

Thanks to recent studies, we know where most all of the close planets are. We know which stars have planets orbiting in "habitable zones" around their parent stars, so we know precisely where to look. All we need now are the tools to see, and those are already under construction.

Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that within the next 10 to 15 years we will answer the question of whether or not the universe teams with life.

Although astronomers are nearly certain that life must exist somewhere out there, it remains a question of abundance. We may discover, perhaps to our loneliness, that there is zero life within hundreds to perhaps thousands of light years around Earth. If this is the case, then we will know that we are more exceptional and unique than ever imagined.

However, if we do find signs of life, then we will answer in the affirmative an ancient question about our place in the universe. It will invite new questions about God, our purpose, and the meaning of life. Although it should be clear that the Catholic Church has already provided correct answers to these fundamental questions.


Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Technology

Apple dominates tech market as anticipation builds for iPhone 6 Watch

Image of The iPhone 6, expected to be released in September, is highly anticipated, and may be responsible for the slight increase in sales of iPhones.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Apple continues to do well in the market, as the company's flagship product, the iPhone, gained significant traction since March, and the Mac line of desktop computers also saw growth. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones over the ... continue reading


Latest claim: the universe might not be natural... Say whaa? Watch

Image of A map of the cosmic background radiation which permeates the universe. Note the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nature and structure of the universe is one of the most enduring questions of the ages. Even the Book of Genesis addresses the topic. Presently, scientists are using modern scientific tools and methods to probe these mysteries and the preliminary results are ... continue reading


What is Microsoft up to? After this rambling memo, even its employees don't know! Watch

Image of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is planning to eliminate almost 20,000 jobs by 2015.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Software giant Microsoft announced that it is going to cut 18,000 jobs by 2015-about 14% of the company's 125,000 employees, by far the largest amount of layoffs in the history of the company. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most of these layoffs-12,500-will ... continue reading


Mars Rover finds massive iron meteorite Watch

Image of NASA has now published the combined image. A preliminary analysis has been made of what the meteorite is made from.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What will they find next on the surface of Mars? Just recently, NASA's Curiosity rover came across a massive iron meteorite half buried in the sands of Mars. The space agency has dubbed the find "Lebanon." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The two-meter-wide ... continue reading


Ever wondered why North America doesn't have any elephants? Scientists have the answer Watch

Image of A new study suggests that the earliest American natives hunted to extinction, a precursor to modern elephants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Clovis people, thought by many archaeologists to be the original native Americans, hunted to extinction the precursors to modern elephants that lived alongside them in North America, new scientific evidence suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This ... continue reading


Jesuit Brother gains prestigious award for astronomy Watch

Image of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno received the coveted Carl Sagan Award for 2014, by bringing an enthusiasm for science to the general public.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Jesuit brother has been awarded the Carl Sagan Medal for 2014 for his radio shows and public lectures on astronomy which helped generate interest in scientific inquiry among the general public. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The American Astronomical ... continue reading


Untouched by human hands: iPhone 6 made completely by robots Watch

Image of The machines that were introduced in 2011, known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Robots are performing more and more human-like functions in the worlds of industry, and it comes as little surprise that Apple is increasingly using automations in the constructions of iPhones. Human hands attached to real living humans in the past previously ... continue reading


New Google Glass app lets users know of imminent Israeli missile attacks Watch

Image of These alerts provide similar information to the Red Alert, which is an Israel app for smartphones and tablets, which recently incorporated the popular instant-messaging app

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a new app that sadly paints a distressing picture of contemporary life in the Middle East. The app, for Google Glasses, is capable of warning users in Israel of impending enemy rocket attacks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Called Israel Missile Alerts, ... continue reading


IN THE DARK: Astronomers wonder what happened to 80 percent of the light in the universe Watch

Image of A $70 million instrument, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, designed by the University of Colorado Boulder and installed on the Hubble Space Telescope was used in the research.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The universe has gotten a lot darker. Astronomers have discovered an enormous deficit of ultraviolet light in the known universe and are at a loss as to why that is. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - They are forthright in saying that there is "something is ... continue reading


Psychiatric drugs may cause increase in ER visits new study suggest Watch

Image of 90,000 emergency room visits may have been caused by psychiatric drugs, a new study suggests.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly 90,000 emergency room visits have been caused each year by bad reactions to psychiatric drugs in the U.S. a new study suggests. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Anti-anxiety medicines and sedatives are among the most common culprits, and among adults over ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Corinthians 4:7-15
7 But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
1 [Song of Ascents] When Yahweh brought back Zion's ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 25th, 2014 Image

St. James the Greater
July 25: For James there was no indication that this was the day that his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter