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Do you believe in aliens?
Question Date: 1998-03-04
Answer 1:

Maybe. Think about this. If, in our solar system, life only ever existed on earth, then we might think that with life on one planet out of nine, and billions of solar systems like ours, the galaxy would be teeming with "aliens". But if we are the only sentient beings in the galaxy, then of course we *must* live in a solar system with a "live" planet, because we're here to ask your question. So effectively, when we count "planets with life" we shouldn't count the earth: if there weren't life on it, I'd be sending this email in a solar system where there *was* life. So then it becomes very important to look for the beginnings of life elsewhere in the solar system (Mars, Europa, Titan). Because if there's fossilized bacteria in that meteorite from Mars, then a *second* planet had life (besides ours), and it starts to look as though the existence of life isn't so uncommon. So in a surprising way, looking for ancient, extinct forms of life on the moons of Jupiter can actually help us look
for aliens.

Answer 2:

There may be life on other planets, but they would be so far away that it is unlikely that we will ever visit each other.How far away is the nearest solar system? How long would it take a ship to reach there if it traveled just below the speed of light? The idea of aliens has created a lot of interesting fiction because everyone can use their own imagination to decide what life on other worlds would be like. What do you think? Could there be life on planets that we couldn't inhabit? Would you want to visit them? Would some of the life forms be as smart or smarter than us? Could we communicate?

Answer 3:

I do, because space is so big. On the other hand, the stars are so far apart that it seems very unlikely they'd be able to travel far enough to meet us.

Question: why do we think it's so hard to travel the long distances between the stars (even for technologically advanced aliens)?

Answer 4:

I think life could exist elsewhere in the solar system, galaxy, or universe. There really isn't any direct evidence of life elsewhere yet (the Mars meteorite data is still pretty controversial).

Answer 5:

Hmm... that's a really interesting question! I guess that I do believe in life on other planets. It may not be life as we know it, but I think it's out there. The universe is VERY big and I think there are chances of other life

Answer 6:

Nope! But I guess it could be possible.

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