Atlantis Online
December 11, 2019, 05:02:30 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Comet theory collides with Clovis research, may explain disappearance of ancient people
http://uscnews.sc.edu/ARCH190.html
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Preparing for alien life

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Preparing for alien life  (Read 41 times)
Stacy Dohm
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 4564



« on: February 01, 2015, 08:24:48 pm »

 At a recent event sponsored by NASA and the Library of Congress, a group of scientists and scholars explored how we might prepare for the inevitable discovery of life beyond Earth.

In 1960, the astronomer Francis Drake pointed a radio telescope located in Green Bank, West Virginia, toward two Sun-like stars 11 light years away. His hope: to pick up a signal that would prove intelligent life might be out there. Fifty years have gone by since Drake's pioneering SETI experiment, and we've yet to hear from the aliens.

But thanks to a host of discoveries, the idea that life might exist beyond Earth now seems more plausible than ever. For one, we've learned that life can thrive in the most extreme environments here on Earth—from deep-sea methane seep and Antarctic sea ice to acidic rivers and our driest deserts.

We've also found that liquid water isn't unique to our planet. Saturn's moon Enceladus and Jupiter's moons Ganymede and Europa harbor large oceans beneath their icy surfaces. Even Saturn's largest moon, Titan, could spawn some kind of life in its lakes and rivers of methane-ethane.

And then there's the discovery of exoplanets, with more than 1800 alien worlds beyond our Solar System identified so far. In fact, astronomers estimate there may be a trillion planets in our galaxy alone, one-fifth of which may be Earth-like. As Carl Sagan famously said: "The Universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space."

Now some scientists believe the hunt for life beyond Earth may well pay off in our lifetimes. "There have been 10,000 generations of humans before us. Ours could be the first to know," said SETI astronomer Seth Shostak.

But what happens once we do? How would we handle the discovery? And what would be its impact on society?

This was the focus of a conference organized last September by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the Library of Congress. For two days, a group of scientists, historians, philosophers and theologians from around the world explored how we might prepare for the inevitable discovery of life—microbial or intelligent—elsewhere in our Universe.
Report Spam   Logged

"All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream." - Edgar Allen Poe


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy