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We asked astronomers: are we alone in the Universe? The answer was surprisingly consistent

We asked astronomers: are we alone in the Universe? The answer was surprisingly consistent. The Conversation33.5 MB (download)

Are we alone in the Universe? The expert opinion on that, it turns out, is surprisingly consistent.

“Is there other life in the Universe? I would say: probably,” Daniel Zucker, Associate Professor of astronomy at Macquarie University, tells astrophysics student and The Conversation’s editorial intern Antonio Tarquinio on today’s podcast episode.

“I think that we will discover life outside of Earth in my lifetime. If not that, then in your lifetime,” says his fellow Macquarie University colleague, Professor Orsola De Marco.

And Lee Spitler, a Senior Lecturer and astronomy researcher at the same institution, was similarly optimistic: “I think there’s a high likelihood that we are not alone in the Universe.”

The big question, however, is what that life might look like.


Read more: The Dish in Parkes is scanning the southern Milky Way, searching for alien signals


We’re also hearing from Danny C Price, project scientist for the Breakthrough Listen project scanning the southern skies for unusual patterns, on what the search for alien intelligence looks like in real life - and what it’s yielded so far.

The Parkes radio telescope is scanning the southern skies, searching for signals from intelligent alien life. AAP/MICK TSIKAS

Read more: 'The size, the grandeur, the peacefulness of being in the dark': what it's like to study space at Siding Spring Observatory


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Additional audio credits

Kindergarten by Unkle Ho, from Elefant Traks.

Lucky Stars by Podington Bear, from Free Music Archive

Illumination by Kai Engel, from Free Music Archive

Podcast episode recorded and edited by Antonio Tarquinio.

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