By Ola Adeola
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is one of three world’s billionaires committing themselves to a $100 million (£76 million) search for alien life. The others are Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking, according to MailOnline.
The trio said they will be listening to signals from ‘Earth 2.0′. They believe a rocky planet, officially named Proxima b, has the right conditions to harbour life and is just four light years from Earth.
The project, known as ‘Breakthrough Listen’, will see the trio listen to messages from ET using the world’s most powerful telescopes.
“It came only a few months after Stephen Hawking and I, with Mark Zuckerberg’s support, launched our Breakthrough Starshot project, which aims to launch a tiny spacecraft to Alpha Centauri within a generation,” Milner told MailOnline.
“At the time, we hoped there was a planet in the Centauri system, but we didn’t know.
“Now we have a definite target. That makes the mission feel more tangible.”
Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered before, but unlike the others, scientists say Proxima b is within our reach.
While four light years is a long way – more than 25 trillion miles – future generations of super-fast spacecraft could conceivably travel to the planet within the next few decades.
Professor Hawking says the project may lead to contacts with aliens if they are found.
“Gazing at the stars I always imagined there was someone up there looking back”, Hawking says during a film, titled ‘Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places’.
‘As I grow older I am more convinced than ever that we are not alone.’