Astronomer claims microbial life will be found in 10 to 15 years. Suggests the chance of finding intelligent life soon is highly unlikely.
The astronomer says worlds such as Europa may be promising candidates.
Alien life could be discovered within the next two decades but, these lifeforms will be far from intelligent beings, one expert claims.
According to astronomer Chris Impey, scientists are likely on the verge of detecting microbes on a planet beyond our own, with nearby candidates such as Jupiterís moon Europa thought to contain some of the conditions to support life.
While scientists have been searching the skies for decades, the expert says we may now detect microbial life in the next 10 to 15 years, especially as forthcoming instruments such as the James Webb Telescope promise to improve our chances.
The researcher says our best chance at finding alien life could be in our own solar system.
While life on Mars, if it exists there at all would likely be deep below the surface, making it difficult to find, the planet may still hold traces of ancient lifeforms in easier to spot places.
Europa, Jupiterís sixth-largest moon, which scientists have recently turned their sights on. The moon is thought have many features similar to Earth, including an iron core and an ocean of salty water. But, its ocean covers the entire surface, and is completely frozen over due to its distance from the sun.
NASA and ESA recently announced plans to launch a mission to better study Europa, efforts such as this could soon give us a Ďbetter idea if that ocean could have life in it.