The duo are joining forces with Russian technology tycoon Yuri Milner to launch the £76million project called Breakthrough Listen.
They will use the world’s most powerful radio telescopes to monitor a planet called Proxima b, which is believed to contain all the right conditions to support life.
The planet is 25 trillion miles from earth and orbits our nearest star, Proxima Centauri, which acts as its sun.
It is thought Proxima b could have the right temperature to have water on its surface, a key factor in supporting life.
Astronomers also discovered that the planet has a rocky surface and a temperature relatively similar to earth’s.
The Breakthrough Listen project will attempt to detect noise from the planet that differs from standard background sounds, which could indicate life exists on Proxima b.
The research will take place in New South Wales, Australia.
Mr Milner said the team are also running the groundbreaking Promixa b Breakthrough Starshot project, which “aims to launch a tiny spacecraft to Alpha Centauri within a generation”.
He said the discovery that Proxima b may be habitable came just a few months after they launched Starshot.
He added: “At the time, we hoped there was a planet in the Centauri system, but we didn’t know.
Now we have a definite target. That makes the mission feel more tangible.”
“We humans are curious beings who like to know the truth. So why not look?”
Source : daily star, uk