Scientist says SETI will find evidence of alien life in the next 25 years

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

Start getting used to not being alone in the universe, because a senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute announced over the weekend that we WILL find proof of alien intelligence. And mark your calendars—because the odds are that proof will come within the next 25 years.

According to Seth Shostak of the SETI institute, who spoke at the SETIcon convention, "I actually think the chances that we'll find ET are pretty good. ... Young people in the audience, I think there's a really good chance you're going to see this happen."

msnbc reports that:

Shostak bases this estimation on the Drake Equation, a formula conceived by SETI pioneer Frank Drake to calculate the number (N) of alien civilizations with whom we might be able to communicate ... Late great astronomer Carl Sagan, another SETI pioneer, estimated that the Drake Equation amounted to N = 1 million. Scientist and science fiction writer Isaac Asimov calculated 670,000. Drake himself estimates a more conservative 10,000.

"This range, from Sagan's million down to 10,000, that's the range of estimates from people who have started and worked on SETI," said Shostak. "These people may know what they're talking about. If they do, then the point is we trip across somebody in the next several dozen or two dozen years."

Are you ready?