NASA Scientist James Green has very compelling evidence that alien life could likely live in our very own Solar System.
What we know about the universe at this stage of history points to very compelling evidence that at least 25% of the stars contained within it have the qualities that support alien life. Recently, the discovery of the qualities possessed within the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system set the astronomy world abuzz. Experts gushed with the hope that we will one day make a connection with alien life from such places.
However, Green suggests alien life is much closer to home. In fact, the potential is even next door.
Planet qualities that can support life
Green explains that three core qualities are essential for a planet to be able to support life potentially. The planet must contain liquid water, an energy source, and organic material. In some cases, an alternative liquid, like methane could support life. But that life would be completely different to anything we currently understand.
Big Bang theorists believe that this monumental explosion expelled all of the components that can create life. It would be narrow-minded to think that such ingredients would only exist upon this minuscule speck that we call Earth.
Amongst the infinite possibilities within reality, it is clear that life is more than inevitable elsewhere. It is merely the limitations of our technology that make us assume we are alone in the universe.
Aliens next door
As human technology has advanced at exponential speed over the past century, we have learned much more details about the planets within our solar system. We have been able to send the latest technology to many planets and moons close by us, sending probes and rovers that reveal compelling evidence of the potential for alien life.
There are four places of interest within our solar system; let us take a look at them:
On the outset, Mars has always been assumed to be too arid, but it has been well-established that at one time in the distant past, it showed evidence that it may have potentially had life there. NASA’s Curiosity Rover was able to determine that indeed river beds once existed on the surface of the planet.
Additionally, when the rover dug deep beneath the red surface, an inner gray layer was discovered. This gray layer revealed evidence that organic matter had existed on Mars. The substance perchlorate was present within the soil. Percholate is not only a powerful energy source, but several microbes here on Earth also consume it as food.
Furthermore, NASA made another startling discovery. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detected compelling images which contained dark streaks forming down the sides of giant crater walls. As this was a seasonal occurrence, evidence suggests that this is liquid water. It disappears when the weather becomes cold.
So far, not enough probing into the Martian landscape has revealed if there is alien life lurking beneath the surface. Nevertheless, the ingredients for life are encouraging the latest missions to Mars planned by Elon Musk and NASA.
Titan, moon of Saturn
Titan is the closest neighbor we have that is most likely to harbor life upon it. However, the alien life there would be like nothing we can relate to on earth.
Additionally, Titan contains a lot of Earth-like features. Similar to Earth, there is an atmosphere, albeit a much denser atmosphere. Also, flowing liquid rivers and lakes cover the moon. A type of precipitation occurs creating rain and all sorts of weather systems.
The big difference, however, is the liquid on Titan is methane-ethane. Any water that exists there acts as rock and lava does on Earth. The soil is carbon rich, which suggests an organic presence.
Such creatures from Titan, if they do indeed exist, would not be able to survive on Earth. Experts suggest they would spontaneously combust within our atmosphere. However with the correct type of space suit and enough oxygen, maybe humans will one day be able to visit and see if we do in fact have alien neighbors living nearby.
Enceladus, moon of Saturn
Enceladus is another suspect for alien life as scientists discovered that it sprays water in giant geysers out into surrounding space. Deep underneath the 5km thick shell of ice that surrounds the moon are deep oceans of water.
The giant geysers are thought to be the result of hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the oceans. And just as we were surprised that we found strange and exotic life in our deep oceans surviving around such vents, it is suspected that the same could exist on Enceladus.
Europa, moon of Jupiter
Europa is another ice-covered moon. Scientists believe that deep under the crust of ice that life could be teeming. Similar to Enceladus, the sea-bed likely contains hydrothermal vents by which life forms could have potentially evolved.
Additionally, the radiation that blasts the surface of the moon is ripe for creating the chemical ingredients that initiate the beginnings of life. NASA hopes to send a probe to investigate in the future.