Are We Alone In The Universe?
For centuries humans have looked up at the heavens and pondered the idea of other Earth like worlds. Worlds where people like us are looking up and thinking the same thing. "Is there other life out there among the stars? Or are we alone in the Universe?"
Science Fiction has helped to romanticize the idea of Aliens living on other worlds. However some of the earliest works portray aliens as being our enemies and sometimes a little to close to home.
Our Closest Neighbors
The idea of there being life on other Planets in our Solar System is not just confined to Science Fiction. Probes sent to Mars have been tasked with finding signs of life whether living or dead. They have found evidence that Mars did have water at some point which is a constituent needed to sustain life as we know it.
Mars is the obvious place to start our search as not only is it our closest neighbor, it is similar to Earth in many ways. Our exploration of the surface of Mars has so far not come up with much but the discovery that water may still flow on its surface as given us hope that we may find something.
Other recent discoveries have moved our search for life further afield. The discovery that Jupiter's moon Europa could be a rocky core surrounded by water with an icey crust ontop. Europa is a little further out than what we would expect a planet that could sustain life to be but if it does consist of the componants we think it does then it could harbour life.
Finding Life Further Out In The Universe
For many years now astronomers have searched the sky for planets that orbit there stars with in its habitable zone. This is the point within a system that is not to hot or to cold for a planet to harbour life. This feature gives the zone its other name of the Goldielocks zone. Over the past few years a few planets that fall into what we call the Goldielocks category have been found.
What Chance Do We Have Of Finding Life On Other Planets?
There is a chance that we are not alone in the Universe but there is also a chance that we are. And even if there are other inhabited planets out there we will probably never get into contact with an alien race unless they have superior technologies that allow them to traverse the universe at very high speeds near to the speed of light.
The Drake Equation
What is the Drake Equation?
The Drake Equation was thought up in 1961 by Frank Drake. It was not ment to be used for the purposes of finding the actual number of inhabited Planets at that time but as a way of getting people talking about it. It is infact an unsolvable equation as the numbers that are represented by the last four sets of letters are not yet known and may never be.