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C. The Search For Extra-Terrestrial Life

Narrator: This is Science Today. Is there intelligent life elsewhere in our galaxy? Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are hoping to find out. Ivan King, a Professor Emeritus of astronomy says the university is helping design and build up to 1000 radio telescopes to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

King: It's one of those very longshot things. It may be that they'll never find anything but if they DO find other intelligent life in the Universe, in some sense it's going to be the most important event in human history. It's something we really got to do because it's so important - even though it may not pay off for ages and ages.

Narrator: That's because actual communication would be slow-going since radio waves travel with the speed of light.

King: That means the nearest star is four years away in each direction. When we talk about more distant stars, well, we send a message to somebody >how are things out there' and the answer comes back maybe a hundred years later if there is anybody out there.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.