Some Thoughts on Aliens

Mercury

Nearest the Sun
Nearest the Sun | Source

Mercury

This week NASA announced that they had found proof that frozen water existed on the planet Mercury.

As most people will know, Mercury is the planet closest to the Sun in our Solar System. This means that the temperatures on the planet surface are extremely hot, so how can frozen water exist on this same surface?

Not only this, but NASA also says that there is evidence of organic materials that are the building blocks of life.

First let’s look at the ice situation.

It would appear that some places on the planet’s surface, near the poles, are in permanent shadow. It is in these places that NASA estimate that there could be as much as between 100 billion to 1 trillion cubic tones of water ice.

Secondly, they say that the evidence of life creating organisms on the planet, would lead them to speculate that life creating organisms probably exist on most of the planets.

Their theory is that this water and the organisms were deposited on the planets from Comet impacts.

Timing

In our Galaxy, Earth is a relatively young planet in our relatively young Solar System.

Last year a Astrophysics professor and a Mathematician, estimated that if on one of the older planets in an older solar system, within our Galaxy, had evolved life at the same speed as Earth, then that intelligent life form, only using nuclear powered space craft, would have had time to of visited all the planets in our Galaxy by now.

This perhaps puts into a little bit of perspective, the time the evolvement of planets takes.

It could also perhaps give a little credence to the ancient alien theorists.

Size

There are almost an infinite number of stars in the universe.

As we know, these stars are either suns or in the instances of those distant stars, they are in fact galaxies.

Which ever way you look at it: it is a lot of suns.

Each of these suns has its own “solar system”. Not all solar systems though have planets but others, like ours, have several.

It has now been estimated that assuming an average of each solar system having just 1.6 planets, then in the observable universe, there is approximately 350 sextillion planets.

Remember, this is in the observable universe. Given that space and therefore the universe are endless, how many must this number be multiplied by to become realistic?

Thought

It is believed that all star systems and planets were created in a similar manner. Therefore it is not absurd to believe that if water and the organic material to create life are abundant on planets in our solar system, they would also be abundant in others.

I have already said that our solar system is fairly young in our galaxy but remember: our galaxy itself is young within the universe.

Now that we have a true perspective of time, size and numbers, can we truly believe that we are the only intelligent life form in the universe?

I think that even the religious amongst us must admit that any divine being would, given the time and numbers involved, be tempted to seed more than just one planet.

So, do aliens exist?

If we accept, that given the size of the universe, they probably do somewhere, then we should also accept that given the time involved, Earth could have already been visited.

When we ponder on these things, we must always remember: Absence of proof IS NOT proof of absence.

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Comments 6 comments

dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 4 years ago from India

Interesting hub, Aliens is always an interesting topic. Well written as well. Good work :)


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Some fair conments but it was actually proteins that were discovered on the meteors. Your definition of Earth-like is much more literal than mine though scientists are starting to agree that binary star systems are capable of harbouring life.

Life as we don't know it? The recent discovery of bacteria feeding on arsenic is a perfect example... Until it was discovered of course.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

“In response to Jonas James, there are many Earth-like planets which have been discovered. Some of them are remarkably similar to Earth but most (if not all) of them are part of binary star systems.”

If they are a part of a binary system they are certainly NOT similar to Earth because Earth orbits a single star. Gliese 581d, for example, is nothing like Earth as it has no moon, does not have a day/night cycle, and is three times the size of Earth. When I say Earth-like, I mean Earth-like in every way with the exception of surface geography.

“Given the fact that the building blocks of DNA have been discovered on outer space meteors and asteroids this suggests that these building blocks have been dispersed all over the universe and therefore it is inevitable that there is other life in the universe - whether seeded intentionally or not.”

Is it all that surprising that carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen has been discovered on asteroids and comets? No. These elements are amongst the most abundant in the Universe along with helium, neon, and iron.

“However later, you only refer to "life as we know it" NOT necessarily ALL life.”

What’s the difference? If life on other worlds can walk and run, wouldn’t you expect them to have legs? If life on other worlds can swim or fly wouldn’t you expect them to have fins or wings? If other life forms out there can see or hear, wouldn’t you expect them to have eyes or ears? If other life out there can construct spaceships, wouldn’t you expect them to have brains and hands? It is very easy to say “NOT necessarily ALL life”, but what exactly are you referring to when you suggest other types of life? Of course, I don’t expect an answer to all these questions, but putting some thought into it would be a good idea.

Food for thought...


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Another intriguing hub, as always Rafken. I like how you mentioned that ice-water (and therefore life) could be present despite the fact that Mercury is so close to the sun. However, I did read a NASA report on this yesterday that claimed some forms of life may be able to withstand such temperatures by gradually being introduced to them over time (an awful lot of time at that!) - the process but be extremely gradual allowing for such potential life-forms to 'learn' how to survive in their surroundings.

In response to Jonas James, there are many Earth-like planets which have been discovered. Some of them are remarkably similar to Earth but most (if not all) of them are part of binary star systems. Given the fact that the building blocks of DNA have been discovered on outer space meteors and asteroids this suggests that these building blocks have been dispersed all over the universe and therefore it is inevitable that there is other life in the universe - whether seeded intentionally or not.


rafken profile image

rafken 4 years ago from The worlds my oyster Author

Jonas James - I do perhaps stand corrected as Space.com say

"The discovery of huge amounts of water ice and possible organic compounds on the heat-blasted planet Mercury suggests that the raw materials necessary for life as we know it may be common throughout the solar system, researchers say."

However later, you only refer to "life as we know it" NOT necessarily ALL life.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

“Secondly, they say that the evidence of life creating organisms on the planet, would lead them to speculate that life creating organisms probably exist on most of the planets.”

Might be a good idea to get your terms right. “organisms” are already living, what I think you meant was “organic compounds”, right? Organic compounds, often referred to as CHON (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen), are abundant throughout the entire Universe and it is no surprise that you would find them on every planet, but do not mistake them for living things. So, it is irrelevant whether there is ice water or CHON on Mercury or Mars, but I’m sure you can agree that an Earth-like planet could support life. All we need is just one Earth-like planet with an almost identical relationship with its parent star and a similar moon and life out there in the cosmos is extremely possible. Without those things, and especially a magnetic field to protect the planet’s surface, the chances of life are extremely remote if not impossible regardless of water and CHON content.

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