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The question is in everyone’s mind. People all over the world devote their lives to figuring out the answer. Does alien life exist? There is proof of habitable areas in the solar system and ways to learn more about them, planets that meet some of the qualifications, and a wide range of reactions to finding out the answer. In this day and age, there is almost equal proof that aliens may exist as there is that they do not.
Numerous exoplanets, planets that are outside of our solar system, have been found using Kepler space telescopes. So far, 47 of these have been found to fit the habitability criteria that Earth has. By scientists studying light projected to the exoplanets, specific wavelengths of colour will appear when certain elements are present. The appearance of oxygen or other elements needed for survival could mean that there is life present. However, there may be a chance that aliens have adapted to surviving through the use of different chemicals, ones that scientists may gather, but not know that they have found an answer.
Life on Earth can exist in extreme environments, and this may also be the case for extraterrestrial organisms. Certain types of archaea and other organisms can thrive in extremes. The rover Curiosity has concluded the ancient Mars was warmer, and possessed the proper chemicals and energy sources that helped life thrive. Jupiter’s moon Europa has a 3,100 kilometer frozen ocean. The idea of chemical reactions occurring when the water interacts with the rocky surface producing nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and other gases could mean life could sustain in that environment. Previous findings have shown that radiation on Europa destroys the chance of any life, but new research has shown that only a centimeter into the ice in low radiation areas has been proven to have amino acids, vital for survival. Life also needs energy, which Europa’s tidal flexing can supply heat for chemical reactions that can deliver energy.
As for how humans would respond to alien life being discovered, it depends on the circumstances. A study conducted at the American Association for the Advanced Science concluded that the majority of people would respond with positivity rather than outrage or fear. The difference in circumstances between finding out about alien life and encountering alien life is very different. Vakoch, a psychologist who works on creating interstellar messages, found that those who are secure in their beliefs are likelier to welcome extraterrestrial life.
Alien life is a strong possibility that ranges from crazy theories to actual scientific reasoning. There are habitable exoplanets and ways to learn more about them, planets that seem like they cannot sustain life that meet some of the qualifications, and a wide range of reactions to the answer. Are these facts enough to convince people that aliens exist, or will meeting with one face to face only convince a person?
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