How do we find life in the universe, and what it might be

(ORDO NEWS) — Not only science fiction writers are thinking about what our first contact with aliens might be like, scientists have recently taken up this as well.

It seems that we are alone in the universe, but this simply cannot be, given the number of planets in it.

Today, scientists are looking for alien signals in all ways, but they are only taking the first steps in this direction.

For millennia, great minds have speculated about the origin, nature, and prevalence of extraterrestrial life.

But despite impressive intellectual efforts, the frustrating reality is that we really don’t know who or what is beyond Earth.

Scientists have good reason to believe that billions of habitable worlds are scattered throughout our galaxy and across a universe teeming with life perhaps even technologically advanced life.

But perhaps the emergence and long-term survival of life on Earth was an accident that happens only once in one galaxy.

Perhaps we live in one of the few wonder worlds where life has evolved to a staggering level of diversity and complexity.

Life on Mars

Mars remains the most attractive target due to its proximity and overwhelming evidence that liquid water once covered much of its surface.

Claims of life on Mars date back over a century, dating back to Percival Lowell’s popularization of his legendary channels.

In 1976, Viking experiments produced positive results in microbial metabolism tests, a result that most (but not all) scientists attribute to active soil chemistry.

Two decades later, a NASA-Stanford University team led by David McKay reported the presence of ancient microorganisms in the Martian meteorite ALH 84001, a claim that remains controversial to this day.

Much of the professional community believes that the existence of life on Mars is highly unlikely, but not impossible.

Scientists say it’s more likely that the rovers’ powerful instruments will be able to detect complex molecules associated with biological processes. Finding life on Mars would be a monumental breakthrough.

If this life turns out to be similar to Earth life, this would either mean that it was transferred inside a meteoroid from one planet to another, or that both worlds received “life molecules” from a common source.

It would be amazing to know that planets can exchange life and that terrestrial life could have originated on Mars.

But if Martian life has a different chemical composition, is not based on cells, or uses molecules that encode information other than DNA and RNA, this suggests that life arose independently on two different worlds and followed two different paths. This would then mean that life is widespread in the galaxy.

Looking for alien signals

There is a major jackpot that can be obtained as a result of the search for extraterrestrial life – a direct signal from other civilizations. That is what the SETI project is trying to find.

The discovery of direct evidence of the existence of an alien civilization will irrevocably change the course of history in ways that no one can predict. It would also show that intelligent life can survive technological adolescence.

Astronomers continue to scan the sky with large radio telescopes in the hope of picking up signals from advanced civilizations.

The Breakthrough Listen project released almost 2 petabytes of observational data to the public in 2020, including images of the center of the galaxy and a brief overview of 20 nearby stars whose civilizations, if they exist, could observe the transit of the Earth across the solar disk.

No definite alien radio signals have ever been detected, a situation that skeptics call the “Great Silence”.

But SETI astronomers rightly object that radio surveys conducted to date have barely touched the surface in terms of the number of stars in the sky and search radio frequencies.

The same goes for SETI’s current optical attempts to detect alien laser signals.

The discovery of technologically capable extraterrestrial life could help answer the question of whether life has a post-biological future, such as mind transfer into a computer or the dominance of artificial intelligence.

“Of course, this is all speculation, but some kind of biological machine hybrid seems like a possible outcome for humanity.

Or you can imagine that self-replicating probes will go to other worlds to prepare the ground for us biological beings.

And if we think this is our future, then it could already have happened elsewhere,” says physicist Stephen Webb of the University of Portsmouth in England.


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