We need to talk about aliens.
Before you close your browser window and think that A Plus has officially boarded the crazy train, let me assure you that we're not talking about Area 51, crop circles, alien abductions, or anything that might sound like it came from that guy on the History Channel.
On the off chance that you haven't noticed, our planet is teeming with life. Millions of species of plants, animals, and microbes make their homes in every environment, and for the most part, live in balance. Life on Earth is incredible, but it's enough to make us wonder: what else is out there?
Let's take a look at the numbers:
Earth is one of eight planets in our solar system. Our sun is one of 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of 100 billion in the Universe. By sheer numbers alone, it seems silly to think that life only exists here on our Pale Blue Dot.
It's also interesting to think about what alien life could even be like. While the Universe is about 13.8 billion years old, our sun has only been around for 4.6 billion of that. If life exists on a much older planet, could it have evolved to be more advanced than we are?
How can we actually find out if there is other life out there?
As the latest DNews video explains, there are a number of factors that make Earth capable of having life. It's a rocky planet, it has an atmosphere, and it's in the habitable zone of our star, which makes it possible to have liquid water. Scientists use these traits and others to narrow down where extraterrestrial life is most likely to exist.
Of course, this method is good for looking for life as we know it, there could be other life systems out there that are completely different and the scientists might not even be able to recognize it. But, since we can't even begin to guess what an alternative basis for life would look like, it's best to stick to what we know.
So how much progress have scientists made with zeroing in on potential alien worlds?
Find out here:
In the words of legendary sci-fi writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke: "Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying."
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