Top astronomers of a US-funded research centre at University of California believe that aliens almost definitely exist.

Dan Werthimer, director of the SETI [search for extraterrestrial intelligence] Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told a committee of the US Congress on Friday that the likelihood of aliens existing was "close to 100 per cent", reported ABC News.

In his appeal to the US Congress's House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Wethimer said in his written testimony: "In the last 50 years, evidence has steadily mounted that the components and conditions we believe necessary for life are common and perhaps ubiquitous in our galaxy."

"The possibility that life has arisen elsewhere, and perhaps evolved intelligence, is plausible and warrants scientific inquiry," he said in the letter while appealing for continued funding to research life beyond Earth.

Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at SETI Institute, told the Congress that the chances of finding aliens were high. "The chances are good; it will happen in 20 years, depending on the financing," Shostak told the committee.

This, however, is not the first time that Congress has held a hearing on extraterrestial. In December, the Science House Committee held a two-hour hearing about the ongoing search for life in Outter Space.

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