In the highly anticipated summer blockbuster Independence Day: Resurgence opening June 24, a battalion of aliens return to Earth, threatening to obliterate the human race. Although alien invasions have long been a fixture of Hollywood movies and TV shows, are we beginning to see increasing scientific evidence that suggests the likelihood of life on other planets?
Just last month, NASA announced a major scientific breakthrough with the discovery of 1,284 new planets outside the Solar System. Among those are dozens of potentially habitable worlds the same size as Earth, orbiting a star similar to our sun. And in April, NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan was quoted as saying, “I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.”
With a Ph.D in Solar Physics and an M.Phys in Astrophysics, Dr. Ian O’Neill — space science producer for Discovery News, which just launched on the new Seeker.com — has a special love for solar physics, space exploration and investigating the inner workings of our universe. On June 23, Dr. O’Neill can discuss the meaning behind NASA’s latest discoveries, recent comments from experts such as renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, and whether the events of Independence Day: Resurgence are pure Hollywood fiction or even slightly grounded in reality.