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ARE WE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE?

Probably not, but that’s not the only alien-related question for which astronomers are seeking answers. 

As we inch closer in our search for extraterrestrial lifethat may exist on another planet, some are wary of making contact with alien civilizations while others are welcoming of an interstellar teleconference.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, string theorist Michio Kaku stated that while the chances of making contact with aliens are high, reaching out to them would be a “terrible idea.” (Others disagree, arguing that alien civilizations will likely pose no threat to us.)

Kaku cited the much-anticipated launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is currently slated for October 31, as an indication of how far we have come in the ongoing quest to find aliens.

The JWST will observe exoplanets in infrared wavelengths that astronomers have never examined them in before, allowing them to make far more detailed observations of alien worlds.

“That’s why I think the chances are quite high that we may make contact with an alien civilization,” Kaku tells The Guardian. “There are some colleagues of mine that believe we should reach out to them. I think that’s a terrible idea.”

Therein lies the debate. To use the slang of text messaging, do we leave aliens on read?

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