April 10, 2013
Did Someone Move in Down the Street?
An Exploration of Possible Extraterrestrial Life in the Universe, Perhaps Our Own System
Other life in the universe just makes sense. Think about it, there are trillions of other stars in existence in our universe, and most of those stars have satellites, and those satellites have satellites. There are literally hundreds of trillions, if not more, planets or planet-sized satellites orbiting stars. To think that none of these could have life on them is just to be naive. If it happened to our planet, out of hundreds of trillions of them out there, it can happen to another, and another. We can’t be alone; distant, maybe, but alone is just too far-fetched a theory. Belief in extraterrestrial life dates back quite far, even back to ancient society. “Regarding the existence of other worlds, the ancients of both Greece and rome were deeply divided. Arguing affirmative were the Epicureans, so called after Epicurus (341-270 B.C.), who developed certain ideas that had originated with Democritus and Leucippus two centuries earlier. Among the theories that we today consider most modern are...that life exists elsewhere in the universe...Modern though these ideas may seem to us, they all indisputably date from antiquity...” (Crowe- 3) We aren’t the first people to think that life must exist elsewhere, we’ve simply brought the thought back into popularity. But where could life be sustained? Bacteria have been observed to endure extreme conditions “in environments with very high or low temperature and where conditions are very acidic or very alkaline.” (Fix) Principles such as this suggest that “the search for life in the solar system should not be confined to the most benign environments.” (Fix) Research and discoveries by Dr. Gene D. McDonald in Siberian permafrost showed that “single-celled organisms such as bacteria, archaeans, and fungi repair cellular damage for tens of thousands of years - and...
Cited: Crowe, Micheal J. The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750-1900. Cambridge UP. 1986. Print.
Fix, John D. Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2008. Print.
Hamilton, Calvin J. “Views of the Solar System: Titan.” solarviews.com. Solarviews, 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
Hart, Stephan. “Bacteria: Survival in Siberia” astrobio.net. Astrobiology Magazine, 2002. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
Harvey, Samantha and Autumn Burdick. “Solar System Exploration.” nasa.gov. NASA, 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
“Stephen Hawking on the Possibility of Non-Carbon-Based Extraterrestrial Life.” dailygalaxy.com. The Daily Galaxy, 2009. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.
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