"Almost all researches believe there is extraterrestrial life but nobody thinks that aliens have visited us […] No, we have not noted this", Yamaoka said.
The researcher noted that the observatory’s Astrobiology Center is working to identify exoplanets orbiting far distant stars that could have conditions suitable for the emergence of carbon-based life.
Japanese scientists are interested in researching an exoplanet orbiting Proxima Centauri b, our closest stellar neighbor at 4.3 light-years from Earth, according to Yamaoka.
The Astrobiology Center has studied many exoplanets, particularity he few that could harbor life.
"Around 100 such planets possibly suitable for life have been discovered. Some of them have been found by Japanese scientists. But we need new telescopes to research them," Yamaoka observed.
Yamaoka is currently researching variable stars whose brightness changes with predictable regularity. The scientist said that with his colleague Nikolai Samus from Russia’s Sternberg Astronomical Institute and other researchers, he is working on a catalog listing these stars, including name and location.
Scientists believe there are around 50,000 'Cephied variable' stars in our Milky Way galaxy, and some 10-20 such objects discovered annually.
Earlier this week, media outlets and social networks discussed a Facebook event calling on participants to storm Area 51, a classified US Air Force facility believed to be a site where evidence of aliens visiting Earth is hidden. Over 1.7 million people have clicked "going" on the event, scheduled for 20 September, in what is widely believed to have started as a prank.
Meanwhile, the US Air Force has warned people against participating in the prank, saying that "any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged".