Lord Rees believes astro-physicists will be able to view images from planets beyond our own solar system by 2025 and by 2052 determine whether there is life on distant planets or not. Not only do producers of sci-fi fear the end, aliens themselves have only got 40 years to get their act together. Will they be ready to wow us with their awesomeness? It's like the Olympics all over again.
"Our worst fear is that aliens turn out to be really boring," said a sci-fi director James T Picard. "Imagine if they're humanoid and just like us, except they go to bed at 8.30pm every night. They live in little boxes and have one TV channel that shows The Alan Titchmarsh Show all day long. Well, till 8.30. I say, wipe them out now."
Of course that's just speculation and also the plot of Picard's new movie, Wipe Them Out Now.
Film and literature has always had us meeting aliens by going to far away galaxies or, aliens visiting earth. But sadly it's going to be more mundane than that. We're going to see some grainy pictures that have scientists puzzling: "Is that an alien? Or a shadow cast by another pile of space muck?"
It's not going to make much of a film, I can tell you that much. Unless the space muck blinks…
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