The search for living organisms on other worlds — alien life — is ever ongoing, and it came up empty again in the calendar year of 2016, but a physicist in the United Kingdom believes that everything will change in 2017 and extraterrestrial life will finally be discovered. He suggests that it won’t come from SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) or from the various devices gathering data on Mars. It won’t come from UFO disclosures that reveal that certain governments have known about alien beings and extraterrestrials for decades. No, proof of alien life will come from Jupiter or Saturn, or more precisely, one of the moons of Jupiter or Saturn.
The Daily Express reported this past week that physicist Simon Foster, a physicist from Imperial College London, is of the opinion that, even though there could be signals of life from faraway stars or biosignatures detected on exoplanets, the most likely candidates to reveal signs of alien life are the moons Enceladus (Saturn) and Europa (Jupiter). Foster says that the spacecraft Cassini is about to end its mission in the coming year and a scientific breakthrough “is just around the corner.”
Foster notes that the past has been filled with false alarms where “we thought we had discovered aliens previously, it was a new form of star called the pulsar.” This occurred when a Fast Radio Burst was detected and mistaken for an alien signal, the event eventually leading to the discovery of a collapsed neutron star called a pulsar. More of the Fast Radio Bursts, their sources unknown, have since been detected, including the recent discovery of six repetitive radio bursts as reported by the Inquisitr, and alien signals are among the explanations for their existence. But Foster believes a breakthrough regarding the discovery of extraterrestrial life is imminent.
“We don’t know hardly anything and when we come up against something we don’t know or doesn’t fit into out current understanding, it is quite nice to say that it could be aliens, whereas a lot of it is just a phenomena that we haven’t discovered. Either way there is a breakthrough just around the corner,” he told Express.co.uk.
The NASA space probe Cassini is the most likely to bring about that breakthrough, he thinks, giving it a slight edge in finding alien life on Enceladus before it is found by craft near Jupiter’s Europa. And he believes it will be microbial.
“What’s interesting is that one of [Saturn’s] moons, Enceladus,” he says, “is an icy moon and that leaves the tantalizing prospect of looking for life. The concentration has been on Mars, and I think moons like Enceladus and Europa, there is a good prospect of finding life – microbial that is.”
NASA would like nothing more than to cap off Cassini’s mission with the revelation of alien life on Enceladus, but finding a way to do so, according to planetary scientist Carolyn Porco, the imaging team leader for Cassini, “is a total b***h of a problem to solve.” According to Scientific American, finding even microbial life in the giant plumes erupting from Enceladus might be a bit beyond Cassini’s capability, which is why there is growing momentum for a dedicated exploratory mission to Enceladus with the expressed purpose of finding life.
As for Europa, NASA announced in September (per the Daily Mail) that Europa just might have a subsurface ocean under a thick layer of ice. The large moon might even be the Solar System’s best bet for harboring extraterrestrial life, according to some scientists.
Still, Dr. Simon Foster has only offered a prediction for the coming year. Right or wrong, he and many of his fellow scientists believe it is only a matter of time before the discovery of alien life is announced.
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