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We Will Find Alien Life Within 20 Years, SETI Scientists Say

Update Date: May 29, 2014 10:02 AM EDT

Scientists at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute may be closer to discover alien life beyond Earth within next two decades. 

Main objective of the project SETI is to detect artificial radio transmissions from outer space.

Recently, using data collected by NASA's Kepler space telescope, scientists spent 36 hours listening in when planets in the targeted solar systems lined up. 

"We think the right strategy in SETI is a variety of strategies. It's really hard to predict what other civilizations might be doing," Dan Werthimer, director of SETI research at the University of California Berkeley, told Discovery News.

NASA's Kepler telescope was launched in 2009 mainly to search for Earth-sized planets that are suitable for life. By far scientists have added 962 confirmations and 3,485 candidates to the list of 1,782 planets discovered beyond the solar system, Discover News reported. 

SETI scientists speaking to members of Congress said the addition of space telescope specifically designed to detect habitable planets will significantly boost chances of discovering life outside our solar system. 

"It's unproven whether there is any life beyond Earth," Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, said at a House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing earlier this month, according to Slate. "I think that situation is going to change within everyone's lifetime in this room."

SETI also noted that life in the form of bacteria may reside in the relatively warm waters of underground oceans found on the moons. 

"Given predicted advances in technology, looking at a few million star systems can be done in the next 20 years," he said.

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