|Has any form of life been discovered on a planet?
There are billions and billions of stars and
galaxy's and planets, and we still have not
discovered life, why not? If we did how would we
even communicate if they are beings?
|Question Date: 2005-05-07|
As of now, there has not been found any kind of
life in other planets. In spite of the fact that
there are millions of galaxies, and millions of
suns, still we do not know if there are any
planets with the conditions to keep any kind of
life. The scientists do not agree yet about
existence of life in other planets. Some of them
think that there is life in many planets, some do
not. By the way, in our galaxy, the earth is the
only planet with life.
Well, we have discovered life on earth, I think we
can be sure of that. At least I think I'm alive. I
can feel my heart beating.
But no, as far as we
have observed, we are alone in the universe. That
said, many astronomers and biologists strongly
believe that there might be life on other planets
that we simply have not encountered yet.
difficulty, then, lies in the incredible size of
the universe. So far, even with our most advanced
technology and our most powerful telescopes and
methods, we have only been able to detect planets
outside our solar system by gravitational
interactions with their stars and by observing
their stars dimming when eclipsed by their
planets. Because large mass makes
gravity-detection easier, we have so far the
technology only to detect planets of Jupiter-size
and larger, and Jupiter is as far as we know
hardly a place for life. So far, I do not believe
we have observed any smaller worlds that are not
orbiting pulsars. Until we find worlds of roughly
the size of Earth, we do not expect to see
evidence of life.
As for communication,
again, the universe is awfully huge. Essentially,
in order to communicate anything at all, we have
to encounter another form of life that is itself
attempting to communicate with us. Having only one
data point to go on (ourselves), we do not know
how diverse the universe is in terms of sentient
life capable of communicating. However, even if we
can in principle figure a way to decode their
message (or they decode ours), we run into a
response-time problem: information cannot travel
faster than the speed of light, so even if we were
talking to life orbiting a nearby star, it would
take years for our signal to get there - and years
for their response to come back.
No, although there is some partial evidence of
possible microbe fossils from martian rocks. You
are right in that there are likely hundreds of
billions of planets in our galaxy alone. However,
until the last month, there has not every been
direct observation of any planet outside the solar
system. There are about 160 known planets which
have been detected by the wobble the put on the
stars they orbit and this has been the most common
way to find them. Beyond that, there is very
little known about any of the planets.
our solar system, the prospects for like like
exists on earth is pretty low, i.e. buried
microbes on Mars or Europa (a moon of Jupiter),but
other kinds might exist and we simply don't know
what to look for. Most scientist think that life
is likely on favorable planets, and there are
likely to be millions of such in the galaxy, but
for us to communicate, both civilizations need to
be interested at the same time and somehow manage
to find common means to communicate.
Although old TV from 50 years ago is now
visible in a 50-light year diameter sphere, no one
knows the likelihood of a earth like planet in
that sphere and if they built the large radio
telescopes needed to see "The Lucy Show". (We
haven't done so yet). Moreover, our modern
communications is now millions of times more
efficient, making it that much harder to
interpret. If 'they' do the same thing, they might
be millions of year ahead or behind us and even 50
years ago, we could not have seen a thing. At some
point it will make sense for us to do a thorough
search, but currently our instruments are just not
up to the task.
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.