E.T. is (probably) out there: Meet a scientist who will buy you coffee if we don’t discover extraterrestrial life by 2036

Astronomer Seth Shostak works for the SETI Institute. SETI, as in, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, as in, Seth looks for aliens … professionally. 

Despite the incredulous looks he gets at cocktail parties, his unconventional job is a lot more serious — and complicated — than it seems, and gives a primer on how technology is advancing the search for life beyond our planet.

Says Seth:

Over the course of the next two dozen years, we’ll be able to look at a million star systems, a million star systems, looking for signals that would prove somebody’s out there. 

Watch the full talk here »

(Photos: Star trails captured by Flickr users ravedelay, cknara, sergiu_bacioiu, rarvesen.)