Pondering E.T.!

May 24, 2010 at 11:48 PM (Uncategorized)

Right now, I am tuned into The Science Channel, and I am again fascinated by the program being shown.  This is a repeat topic, yet it is so intriguing that it demands attention when any similar show airs.  It actually is an episode of the program Sci-Trek, and this one discusses first contact.

I am a firm believer that life does exist elsewhere within this universe.  I hold tightly to the thought of what would have been the point, with all that exists within the vastness of space, for one lonely planet to harbor life, intelligent or otherwise?  I understand that it likely will not be next door, yet certainly, there has to be some kind of life elsewhere in the universe.

We now know that no discernable life exists within our solar system, presently (not dismissing studies of MarsEuropa, and Titan), that is outside of our beloved Earth.  Yet, this merely is one small location within an area so vast that it nearly defies the imagination.  Our solar system is among a vast number of similar structures, likely one of billions within our own Milky Way.  Indeed, our galaxy is one of millions within what we understand as the universe.

If a planet is going to harbor life, it has to exist within the habitable zone of it’s solar system.  Life, as we understand it, can not survive without a primary source of energy.  A planet has to be within a reasonable distance from it’s host star to be able to sustain life.  Earth, orbiting an average of 93,000,000 miles from The Sun, is situated within such a prime location.

It is speculated that Mars is/was within that distance, as well.  Scientists are tossing with the idea that life may have been prevalent on Mars, at one point within that planet’s past.  Yet, further suggestions have lead to further ideas that any possible life on Mars went extinct eons ago, or possibly went somewhere else!

Other stars throughout the vastness of space host planets.  Many of these stars will have a habitable zone.  It is not beyond reason to think that there are planets within these particular regions around distant stars that have allowed life to develop and evolve.

Currently, programs like S.E.T.I. are putting reasonable effort into finding out whether or not there is anybody else out there.  S.E.T.I. was formed officially during 1984, and presently operates with nearly 200 scientists dedicated to finding out whether or not we are alone in all of this vastness.

The search for life is not bound to finding walking and talking beings.  Knowing that any kinds of living creatures, animal or plant, exist beyond Earth would be a certain confirmation that life does exist anywhere.  Researchers with S.E.T.I., along with other scientists, including Dr. Diana Northup, have been studying the diverse manners in which life on our home planet has evolved, and continues to exist.  These types of studies are useful in realizing how life may be present within areas that are completely alien to our understandings of how life can form and progress.

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