NASA Researchers Confident We Will Discover Alien Life Soon

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NASA Researchers Confident We Will Discover Alien Life Soon

 Space
In a recent panel, NASA scientists said we may be 10 to 20 years away from finding life beyond Earth.  They are not talking about intelligent aliens, but confirmation of microbe life.





C ould there be life on other planets and moons? While widely believed to be the case, just based on the shear numbers of habitable bodies, we still have no authoritative answer. Now, NASA authorities say, we might soon be on the cusp of a definite answer.

"I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years," Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA, said at a public panel earlier this week in Washington, as was reported in the Los Angeles Times.

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"It's definitely not an if, it's a when," said Jeffery Newmark, one of Stofan’s colleagues.

One of the reasons the organization is so sure: Water—thought to be vital for life, it keeps turning up in more places. Peering through telescopes, researchers have discovered it in space rocks, bodies smaller than planets like Ceres, monster mists in the middle of stars and on a large portion of the planets in our solar system.

"We are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years."


The findings suggest that previous ideas about where to find "habitable zones" may have been too limited. "We now recognize that habitable zones are not just around stars, they can be around giant planets too," Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA said. "We are finding out the solar system is really a soggy place."

Scientists now widely accept that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all contain water in their inside and/or environments. There is likewise solid proof that  water is present on the five frosty moons of Jupiter and Saturn: Jupiter's Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, and Saturn's satellites Enceladus and Titan.

"We are not talking about little green men," Stofan said. "We are talking about little microbes."

Enceladus and Europa more likely than not have fluid seas that rest upon mineral-containing rocks, as based on the observations of spacecraft and telescopes, and both are geographically dynamic. These bodies have the three segments which astrobiologists believe are vital for the advancement of life: water, a source of energy (e.g., volcanic movement) and chemicals used as a part of biological processes, conceivably including nucleic acids.

Information from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has also recently shown that Ganymede most likely has a saltwater sea.

Scientists have also discovered water in the polar ice tops of Mars, and the planet likely once had a fluid sea. Ice has even been recorded on the moon and Mercury.



SOURCE  LA Times

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