• Question: Will we actually colonize on Earth-like exoplanets in the future?

    Asked by Neliporto to Alice, Bose, Christian, Emma, Steve on 9 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Alice Harpole

      Alice Harpole answered on 9 Mar 2016:

      If the human race is to survive in the far-off future, then we’ll have to. Over the next billion or so years, the Sun is going to become much hotter, causing extreme temperature rises here on Earth. The Earth will no longer be habitable for us, so if we are to continue we are going to have to find somewhere else to live. The exoplanets we’re discovered so far are all many light years away, so we are going to need to seriously improve our technology for intersterllar travel if we are ever going to get to them, but given the rate at which technology has changed over the past few hundred years, I don’t think this is entirely out of the question!

    • Photo: Steve Marsden

      Steve Marsden answered on 10 Mar 2016:

      I really hope so for the reasons Alice gave.

      However, given how probable intelligent life should be in our galaxy, we should have made contact many times by now. One of the explanations is that civilisations have a way of wiping themselves out before they manage to take to the stars. I hope that this explanation isn’t correct, but it’s worryingly feasible.