We may not be alone in this universe, according to a land rover that may have found signs of alien life on a comet. According to astronomers, there are several features on the surface of the comet 67P that are worth further investigation to see if there could be life below. The surface of the comet is covered by a thick black crust, but microbes on the surface indicate that there may be an icy structure underneath with frozen lakes and organic debris. The findings have led many astronomers to speculate on the possibility of alien life in the universe in the form of micro-organisms.
These findings were made possible by a Philae landing probe, which landed on the speeding comet on November 12, 2014. This was after 10 years and 4 billion miles attached to a Rosetta spacecraft wandering through the galaxy. It lost contact with Earth just three days later, presumably because of lost battery power. The lander is solar powered, and when it landed in a shady place, the battery could not sustain power any longer.
Finally, after several months of no transmissions, the Philae lander got close enough to the sun that it awoke and sent an 85-second transmission to the Earth, including information about the microbes.
Ever since the transmission arrived early Monday morning, scientists have been buzzing with the possibilities.
“Five hundred years ago it was a struggle to have people accept that the Earth was not the center of the universe,” Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, astronomer and astrobiologist reports. “After that revolution our thinking has remained Earth-centered in relation to life and biology. It’s deeply ingrained in our scientific culture and it will take a lot of evidence to kick it over.”
Wickramasinghe is not alone in her belief that the possible signs of alien life found on a comet could lead to a change in our every day perceptions of the Universe, but there is large opposition to this claim, even still.
Uwe Meierhenrich of Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, France directly opposes the supposition that there could be life on another planet, according to The Guardian.
“No scientist active in any of the Rosetta instrument science teams assumes the presence of living micro-organisms beneath the cometary surface crust.”
Most scientists agree with this assessment. Despite the media blowing up with the possibilities of life in the universe, it looks like that’s not happening yet, although some scientists believe that there is definitely life in outer space, and we are sure to find it within the next 20 years.
But it doesn’t look like today is that day. Despite claims of alien life on a comet, we are still years away from a real discovery.
[Image via ABCNews.go.com]