In case you hadn’t noticed, there are some pretty exciting strides in finding aliens in the last month or so. We could discover alien life as soon as a decade from now. Here’s why.
The Kepler Discoveries
Our love of Kepler, the orbiting telescope that NASA is currently using, is well-documented, but probably the most important conclusion was just arrived at recently: where there are stars, there are planets. And the science shows they’re old, small, rocky planets…the kind of planets that can support life.
That doesn’t mean there are a billion Earths out there, but what it does mean is that the odds for life, and more importantly, life that’s had time to evolve into that whole “society” thing, just became that much more likely. Furthermore, in the far future, it means that there will likely be planets we can move onto and terraform in every single star, provided life isn’t already on them.
Jupiter’s Moons Could Hold Life…And the European Space Agency Is Looking for It
In 2022, the European Space Agency has just announced, they’ll be launching the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer, with the unfortunate acronym of JUICE. JUICE’s job is, essentially, to examine the moons of Jupiter, specifically Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto, for life. It’ll be at the moons in 2033.
It’s more than just idle speculation or hope. There’s real scientific evidence that macrofauna, that is, full on animal life, could live in the oceans on Europa. Yes, there is a distinct possibility that, twenty years from now, we’ll discover space fish.
It’s also going to scan Ganymede for organic life, or at least the potential to offer a habitat to organic life. These moons are icy, yes, but they also have liquid water and possibly the building blocks of life. What form that life may take, we have no idea. But we’re going to find out.
Titan’s Tropical Methane Lakes
One of the more exciting discoveries of the Cassini probe, which has been exploring Saturn and its moons since 2004, is the recent discovery of methane lakes at Titan’s equator.
The equator of Titan is a desert. While Titan is the only body in the solar system that has a rain cycle, that cycle happens closer to the poles. That means that, essentially, lakes on Titan’s equator shouldn’t exist: it’s liquid methane, which evaporates quickly, and should migrate straight to the poles.
So what does this mean, if those lakes really are there?
That vast oceans of methane are under Titan’s surface, giving life more places to evolve and take hold.
True, it won’t be complicated life, but it might be there.
As we explore the universe, the odds we find alien life become higher and higher. More importantly, though, our understanding of the universe increases. That’s why the search for life is so important: even if we don’t find it, what we learn in the process is invaluable.