People believe an independent Scotland will be as likely as putting astronauts on Mars by 2070, a poll has claimed.

The British public was asked to predict what the world will look like when new Royal baby Prince George is likely to ascend to the throne in 2070.

Around half of those asked, 49%, think that by the time of his reign, the Union will be divided, just 1% more than those who believe astronauts will have landed on Mars, 48%, a YouGov poll found.

The chances of independence by 2070 drops lower among Scottish people at 41%. More people, 42%, believe there will be evidence of life elsewhere in the universe.

A YouGov statement said: "The majority of Britons say that by the year 2070 they'll work into their 70s and chat with computers, but Scottish independence is about as likely as astronauts landing on Mars.

"Going by current trends George Louis Alexander, the child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is most likely to ascend to the British throne around the year 2070.

"New research by YouGov finds the British public think they'll be working as long as the current Queen and talking to computers, but less than half predict independence for Scotland.

"The Scottish National Party wants an independent Scotland to retain the British monarchy but to the British public, it does not look like they will get the choice.

"Only 49% say that by the time of King George VII's reign the Union will be divided, just 1% more than who say astronauts will have landed on Mars, 48%.

"The most popular thing to happen in the future is not bright: 83% of British adults predict people will have to work into their 70s. Additionally, 71% predict a major energy crisis.

"Medically, 68% say there will be a cure for Aids and 52% a cure for cancer. And technologically, 60% think hardly any fossil fuels will be used for energy while 58% say artificial limbs will have been created that work better than natural ones."

People in Scotland are most likely to believe the monarchy will be abolished by 2070, at 22%, compared with 14% of British people overall and 10% of Londoners, the poll suggests.

Fears of another world war are higher in Scotland, at 33%, than anywhere else in Britain.

A Yes Scotland spokesman said: "This poll actually finds that half the population of the UK believe that Scotland will become independent.

"The latest Scottish poll shows that the gap between Yes and No is now just 9% which means that a swing of less than five points would put independence ahead next September.

"The reality is that there is less chance of Scotland always getting the governments we vote for under the Westminster system than there is of Martians landing on Earth."

A Better Together spokesman said: "While this poll will allow people to have a laugh and make some space-related jokes, no one on our campaign will allow ourselves to believe anything other than we are in the toughest of tough fights. Every vote is up for grabs and that is exactly how we are approaching the referendum."

Meanwhile Nasa is working to meet President Obama's goal to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.