Bizarre Alien Life FormsLife on Other Planets Would Adapt to its Environment
and Might be
Stranger than you could Ever Imagine
|Bizarre Alien Life Forms
Life on Other Planets Would Adapt to its Environment and Might be Stranger than you could Ever Imagine
Life on other planets would adapt to its environment
and might be stranger than you could ever imagine. Alien life is not just possible but probable, according to many scientists. And thanks to new technology, we may not be too far from finding it.
The trend to assume that celestial bodies were populated almost by default was tempered as actual probes visited potential alien abodes in the Solar System beginning in the second half of the 20th century.
At the same time, the beginning Space Age was accompanied by a surge of UFO reports, particularly in the United States, during the 1950s.
Based on observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, there are at least 125 billion galaxies in the universe.
It is estimated that at least ten percent of all sun-like stars have a system of planets.
The term UFO itself was coined in 1952 in the context of the enormous popularity of the concept of "flying saucers" in the wake of the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting in 1947.
The moon was decisively ruled out as a possibility, while Venus and Mars, long the two main candidates for extraterrestrials, showed no obvious evidence of current life.
The other large moons of our system which have been visited appear, to our knowledge, similarly lifeless, though the interesting geothermic forces observed (Io's volcanism, Europa's ocean, Titan's thick atmosphere and hydrocarbon lakes) have underscored how broad the range of potentially habitable environments may be.
Although the hypothesis of a deliberate cosmic silence of advanced extraterrestrials is also a possibility, the failure of the SETI program to announce an intelligent radio signal after four decades of effort has at least partially dimmed the prevailing optimism of the beginning of the space age.
Notwithstanding, the unproven belief in extraterrestrial beings is voiced (not as a hypothesis) in pseudoscience, conspiracy theories in popular folklore like about 'Area 51' and legends. Emboldened critics who view the search for extraterrestrials as unscientific, despite the fact that the SETI program is not the result of a continuous, dedicated search, but instead utilizes what resources and manpower it can, when it can.
In 1961, University of California, Santa Cruz astronomer and astrophysicist Dr. Frank Drake devised the Drake equation.
This controversial equation multiplied estimates of the following terms together:
Drake used the equation to estimate that there are approximately 10,000 planets in the Milky Way galaxy containing intelligent life with the possible capability of communicating with Earth. Based on observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, there are at least 125 billion galaxies in the observable Universe.
- The rate of formation of suitable stars.
- The fraction of those stars which are orbited by planets.
- The number of Earth-like worlds per planetary system.
- The fraction of planets where intelligent life develops.
- The fraction of possible communicative planets.
- The "lifetime" of possible communicative civilizations.
It is estimated that at least ten percent of all sun-like stars have a system of planets, i.e. there are 6.25×1018 stars with planets orbiting them in the observable Universe. Even if we assume that only one out of a billion of these stars have planets supporting life, there would be some 6.25×109 (billion) life-supporting planetary systems in the observable Universe.
Back in March 4th, 2010, 429 extrasolar planets had been discovered.
There are now 530 such planets that have been confirmed as of February 28th, 2011 and new discoveries occur monthly.
Furthermore, the SETI program only searches a limited range of frequencies at any one time. In the words of SETI's Frank Drake, "All we know for sure is that the sky is not littered with powerful microwave transmitters".
Drake has also noted that it is entirely possible that advanced technology results in communication being carried out in some way other than conventional radio transmission.
At the same time, the data returned by space probes, and giant strides in detection methods, have allowed science to begin delineating habitability criteria on other worlds, and to confirm that at least other planets are plentiful, though aliens remain a question mark. The Wow! signal, from SETI, remains a speculative debate.
In planetary astronomy and astrobiology, the Rare Earth hypothesis
argues that the emergence of complex multicellular life (metazoa)
on Earth required an improbable combination of astrophysical and
geological events and circumstances.
In 2000, geologist and paleontologist Peter Ward and astrobiologist Donald Brownlee published a book entitled Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe.
In it, they discussed the Rare Earth hypothesis, in which they claim that Earth-like life is rare in the universe, while microbial life is common.
Ward and Brownlee are open to the idea of evolution on other planets which is not based on essential Earth-like characteristics (such as DNA and carbon).
The possible existence of primitive (microbial) life outside of Earth is much less controversial to mainstream scientists, although, at present, no direct evidence of such life has been found. Indirect evidence has been offered for the current existence of primitive life on Mars. However, the conclusions that should be drawn from such evidence remain in debate.