ST. PETERSBURG. June 27 - Russian astronomers hope to find extraterrestrial civilizations in 20 years, Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Applied Astronomy Institute Andrei Finkelstein told a Monday press conference.
"The genesis of life is as inevitable as the formation of atoms. There are fundamental laws, which apply to the entire universe. There is life on other planets and we will find it in 20 years," he said.
Finkelstein believes that aliens will look like earthlings: they will have two legs, two arms and a head. "Possibly, they will have a different color skin, but the same happens here. While we have been searching for extraterrestrial civilians, we have been waiting for messages from space, not the other way," he said.
About 1,000 exoplanets, i.e. planets circling around stars like the Sun, have been found, and 10% of them resemble the Earth, researchers said. There will be life on such planets if there is water.
An international symposium on the search for extraterrestrial civilizations opened at the Applied Astronomy Institute on Monday to sum up the results of the 50-year-long search for alien life forms. The Project Passive SETI was started up in 1960 to listen for possible signals from other planets.
There is also the Active SETI program, in which radio signals are being sent for contacting aliens.
According to Alissa de Carbonnel of Reuters:
Finkelstein's institute runs a program launched in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War space race to watch for and beam out radio signals to outer space.